Now, you can bring them some figgy pudding! Using a boxed cake mix makes this recipe super simple.
Step 1: Soak raisins in brandy Put one-third of a cup of raisins in some brandy and let them soak.
Step 2: Boil the figs Place a 12-ounce package of figs in a saucepan, cover them with water, and bring it to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and let it sit for about three hours.
Step 3: Preheat oven Preheat the oven to 350º.
Step 4: Add sugar to fig water Remove the figs from the water with a straining spoon. Add a cup of sugar to the fig water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer until it reduces a bit. Remove it from the heat and put it aside to cool.
Step 5: Chop the figs Chop the figs into fine pieces by hand.
TIP: Wiping your blade with vegetable oil will make the chopping go more smoothly.
Step 6: Bake your cake Put the ingredients that the carrot cake mix calls for into your food processor, substituting the fig water for the water called for in the instructions. Refrigerate the remaining fig water for later use.
Step 7: Spice it up Spice up the batter with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg.
Step 8: Whip it up Mix the batter in the food processor, tossing in the fig pieces once the batter is almost fully mixed.
Step 9: Add nuts and raisins Transfer the batter to a bowl and add a cup of chopped nuts. Walnuts are traditional, but you can use pecans or sliced almonds if you prefer. Stir in the brandy-soaked raisins, the grated peel of one orange and one lemon, and a tablespoon of orange marmalade.
TIP: You can also add chopped dried apricots, dates, and/or glacé cherries if you like.
Step 10: Line a bowl with foil Line a two-quart ovenproof bowl or mold with enough foil so the ends can be folded over to cover the cake. Spritz the foil with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in the batter.
Step 11: Pre-bake for 30 minutes Bake the cake for 30 minutes, then tent it with the protruding foil and bake for another 90 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
Step 12: Cool overnight Let the cake cool overnight. The next day, carefully overturn it onto a platter and remove the foil.
Step 13: Liquor it up Heat the leftover fig water with half a cup of brandy and pour it over the cake just before you serve it. Add a dollop of whipped cream.
FACT: Christmas puddings were outlawed in England in 1664, because Puritans believed the fruits, spices, and spirits inspired wicked passions.