Figgy Pudding in 2015

I have always had a special fondness for the carol

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

In particular, I love the part that goes:

Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
And a cup of good cheer

We won’t go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
So bring it right here

As a little girl, I found the concept of figgy pudding unbearably hilarious.

I have no explanation for why.

Every holiday season, my dad would dance around the kitchen with my brothers and I while we bellowed out our favorite lyrics.

I was curious to learn exactly what makes up this infamous pudding, so I looked it up.

It is basically the British version of a fruitcake.  Sounds kind of gross, but I was still intrigued.  The recipe calls for about 1 pound of dried figs.

Incidentally,  I have been raising six fig trees with the hope that they eventually yield figs.


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The other day, I noticed that one of my trees has four little figs growing!


As excited as I am about these little figs, I think this particular tree must be yielding too early.  Prime harvesting season for figs is between June and October.

I’d hazard a guess that December 30th is a bit of an outlier.

Figs do not ripen once they are picked, so they need to be harvested when they are soft and give way to the touch.  Once fresh figs are picked, they need to be consumed within seven to ten days.  If the figs are not going to be consumed fresh, then they need to be dried.

How to dry figs:

  • Harvest them when ripe, wash and dry them, and cut them in half.
  • Place them on a drying surface, skin-side down.
  • Use either a dehydrator or oven to dry figs.
  • If using an oven, set oven to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  If your oven doesn’t go to such a low temperature, set it at the lowest temperature possible and keep the oven door propped open to allow the extra heat to vent.
  •  Leave figs in the oven until they are dry and leathery (around 8-12 hours).
  • Figs need to be pasteurized to kill any remaining insects.  Pop them into freezer bags and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  • You can keep them in the refrigerator up to 24 months or in the freezer up to 8 years!

I am very much looking forward to my other fig trees maturing and yielding fruit in 2015.  As soon as they do, I plan on drying the figs, storing them and baking with them.  Hopefully, I will have the Figgy Pudding recipe perfected by next Christmas.