Enough time to make an Xmas pud? With figs and dates?

When my husband and I were at work, and we had two children to look after and all their activities (rugby, swimming, karate) and parents and relatives to visit regularly (four-hour journey each way) and of course housework and gardening to do, I still managed to be well-prepared for Christmas with puddings, cake and mincemeat all made, plus other treats such as chocolate logs and mincepies (there was one memorable time when staying at my dad’s house, I prepared three different bowls of mixture for pud, pies and cake – fruit marinating etc… and when we got them home I couldn’t member which was which… I think I guessed correctly with the cake but might have muddled the pies and pud – they all tasted great anyway!) … anyway this year I am way behind… luckily I have mincemeat left from last year so I’ll make some mince pies soon.

I think there is only me who really likes Christmas pudding – my husband and son don’t mind it, but my daughter really dislikes it – even when I made a ‘white’ one with berries and red fruit and white choc chips she really didn’t enjoy it.

So since it’s mainly for me maybe I shall try a different style pud (yes I know it should have been made weeks if not months ago!) and I have found this ninety year-old recipe:

Christmas pudding
(made with figs and dates)

This recipe will make 3 large or four medium puds, so adjust quantities if necessary

  • 1½ lbs stoned and chopped dates
  • 1 lb figs, stalks removed and fruit chopped
  • ½ lb mixed peel
  • 1½ lbs seeded raisins
  • 2 lbs chopped suet (you could use vegetable suet or even butter)
  • ½ lb breadcrumbs
  • ¾ lb flour ( might use wholemeal)
  • ½ lb sugar (it doesn’t specify but I will use Demerara)
  • 2 oz ground almonds
  • 4 oz chopped walnuts
  • 1 large carrot, scraped and grated
  • zest and juice of a large orange and lemon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground is best, and 1 whole nutmeg = 1 tsp)
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (I like ginger so I would add more)
  • 8 eggs beaten
  • 1 lb black treacle (warmed very slightly)
  • 7 fl oz milk
  • 3 fl oz rum (or brandy if you prefer, or miss it out and add more liquid)
  • ratafia flavouring (I actually do have some! This will be the first time I have used it!)
  1. mix the suet/fat, flour and breadcrumbs, spices, almonds and sugar
  2. add carrot, walnuts, and zest
  3. stir in the eggs, treacle, fruit juice and milk and  beat well
  4. add the rum and ratafia
  5. put into well buttered basins, cover with buttered paper and floured pudding cloth (or tinfoil) and steam for about six hours
  6. the puds can be made in advance and stored with new wrapping and then reheated by steaming for an hour or so – they can be heated in the microwave but I’m not sure of timings!


  1. andrewbeechroad

    Given your expertise I will expect the cake and pudding sent North by express delivery. I understand the Great Western do a service which will get the perishables to London from the south west in six hours and from that flesh pot of unresolved ambitions it is but 2 and a bit hours to Madchester

    Liked by 1 person

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