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Figgy Pudding
Yield: 4 Servings

4 oz suet
8 oz flour
275 ml milk
6 oz dried figs
2 oz dried apricots
1 oz dried apples
4 oz prunes
2 oz dates
3 oz raisins/sultanas
1 tb honey
1 wineglass brandy (probably this is 4-6 fl oz)
1/4 ts ginger
1/4 ts cinnamon

The day before making the pudding, put the apricots, prunes and
apples to soak in water and put the raisins and sultanas to soak
in the brandy.

Put a large saucepan full of water on to boil. Take the stones
out of the dates and prunes (if the prunes have them): butter a
large pudding basin. Mix the suet and flour, then add the milk
gradually to make a fairly stiff dough: roll out and line the
pudding basin with this dough, leaving sufficient dough aside to
make a top. Melt the honey and stir in the ginger and cinnamon:
add the brandy mixture. Pack the fruit into the dough-lined basin
and pour the honey/brandy mixture over it. Put the suet-crust lid
on the basin, then cover with foil and tie down tightly, leaving
a long end of string to make it easy to lift out of the saucepan
later. Put the basin in the boiling water and cook for two hours,
watching to make sure the pan doesn't boil dry: add more water if
necessary. Turn out onto a dish and serve.

(A word about the pudding basin, for those unfamiliar with them.
This is a deep, somewhat narrow ceramic bowl, usually holding
between 1/2 liter to a liter. Old ones have no top, so that you
must seal your pudding with its own crust, then usually with a
layer or two of baking parchment and then lastly with foil to keep
the steam and condensation out, the whole business crumpled down
around the top of the basin and tied in place with thin string.
This tying is something of an art, and is easy to mess up, which
is why it's such a relief that pudding basins with snap-on lids
are now being made, both plastic and metal basins now being available
on the UK/Irish side of the Atlantic. Your local cookware store
may have some of these. Otherwise, if Tupperware [or your version
of it] can withstand being boiled, you should be able to substitute
a Tupperware bowl with a lid for the pudding basin.)


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