About this recipe:Who doesn't like a bit of figgy pudding at Christmas? This can be made up to 3 months before Christmas so there's no excuse! I like to serve this with a rum and ginger sauce instead of brandy butter but the choice is yours.
Place the chopped dried figs in a bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and rum; cover and set aside to soak at least overnight.
Grease a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) pudding basin and place a small disc of greaseproof paper on the bottom.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Add the apple, pear, almonds, glace cherries, ginger and soaked figs; mix together. Sift in the flour and add the breadcrumbs.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the top. Lay a doubled sheet of greaseproof paper and then a doubled sheet of foil on top, and fold together to make a pleat in the centre. Smooth the paper and foil down round the basin and tie securely with string under the edge.
Steam for 3 hours, topping up with more boiling water when necessary. Remove the basin from the steamer and take off the foil and greaseproof lid. Cover loosely with a tea-towel and leave to cool.
When the pudding is completely cold, cover with doubled sheets of fresh greaseproof paper and foil. Keep in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
On the day of serving, steam for a further 1½ hours. To make the sauce, blend the cornflour with 6 tbsp of the cold milk. Heat the remaining milk until almost boiling, then pour onto the cornflour mixture, stirring. Return to the pan and stir over a moderate heat until thickened. Simmer for a further 1–2 minutes, still stirring. Add the sugar, ginger syrup and rum, then taste for sweetness, adding a little more sugar if liked.
Turn out the pudding onto a serving plate. Pour the hot rum sauce into a small jug and serve.
We tried this last year (2013) & all the (extended) family loved it. This year, someone *bought* a Christmas Pudding, but when they were reminded of last year's, they begged us to make another of these & took the bought one back! What more of a recommendation do you need than that???
The only tweak to the recipe was to add 2 extra apples in place of the pear as some of us do not like pears. (Oh, & a bit of extra rum :o) ) - 22 Nov 2014