Brown Butter Figgy Pudding with Brown Butter Hard Sauce


Brown Butter Figgy Pudding with Brown Butter Hard Sauce

“Please bring us some figgy pudding.  Please bring us some figgy pudding.  Please bring us some figgy pudding and bring it right here.”

Figgy pudding really does exist.  And it’s not something you want to miss out on.  We make it at our store throughout the Christmas season and it never lasts long.

One busy day a few years ago during the Christmas season, one of our good customers brought a figgy pudding into the store for us to taste.  We were all intrigued…first, that figgy pudding really does exist and second, about what it tasted like.  We’re happy to say that it was a huge hit!  We all look forward to it every year.

There have been recipes for figgy pudding since the 15th century, but it hit its peak in popularity in the 19th century.  An old English term for dessert is pudding, so figgy pudding is not the smooth, creamy, eat-it-with-a-spoon type that we’re most familiar with.  It’s a steamed pudding that is very dense and cake-like.

We adapted this recipe from the one our wonderful customer brought us, which originated from Sunset magazine.  It’s paired with a brown butter hard sauce that we can seriously eat with a spoon.  It’s that good.  It compliments and adds a bit of richness to the pudding.

This is definitely something you should bring to your next holiday gathering.  You will definitely get applause.

Brown Butter Figgy Pudding with Brown Butter Hard Sauce



  • 1 1/4 cups butter*
  • 1 lb dried mission figs, stemmed*
  • 3 T orange juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar*
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder*
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 tsp salt*

Hard Sauce

*These ingredients can be found in our store

1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Stir often until butter is deep golden brown with darker brown flecks, 5 to 8 minutes (if butter foams up in pan, remove from heat briefly until foaming subsides). Pour butter into a 1-cup glass measure; chill until solid, about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine figs, orange juice, and 1 cup boiling water. Soak until figs have softened, about 30 minutes. Lift 1/2 cup figs from bowl and coarsely chop. Pour remainder, with soaking liquid, into a blender or food processor and whirl until smooth.
3. Scoop 1/2 cup solidified brown butter into a large bowl (bring to room temperature if necessary before using; reserve remainder for brown-butter hard sauce). With a mixer at medium speed, beat butter with granulated sugar until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add puréed figs and beat until smooth.
4. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and beat at low speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Stir in chopped figs.
5. Scrape batter into a large buttered steamed pudding pan or an 11-quart bundt pan; Place lid on or cover tightly with foil and secure with a rubber band. Place pudding pan in a 12- by 17-inch baking pan and set on bottom rack of a 350° oven. Carefully pour 2 inches boiling water around the pan, then cover entire baking pan with foil.
6. Bake until pudding feels firm to touch (peel back foil to check) and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert pan over a plate to unmold pudding. Let cool until barely warm. Cut into slices and serve with brown-butter hard sauce.

Hard Sauce

Combine all ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature.