The Ladies' Tea Guild

Monday, December 2, 2013

We all like our figgy pudding!

Figgy pudding just out of the kettle.
Well, the pudding is out of the kettle and cooling on a rack now.  It looks like the waxed paper did its job of protecting the pudding from the rust on the inside of the mold, although it looked like the rust didn't come off on the paper anyways!  Interestingly, there is now more rust on the outside of the mold, in a line halfway down from the lid, where the water level was.  I'm not sure how to remove that.  There was also a metallic black residue that came off of the outside of the lid when I took the mold out of the kettle, but that has disappeared now that the mold isn't covered with steam.

Figgy pudding out of the mold. 
In any case, the pudding came out of the mold perfectly (of course it was surrounded with waxed paper) and hardly stuck to the waxed paper at all.  I let it boil for the full 4 hours called for by the recipe, and when I tested the pudding with a knife stuck in the center, there were no crumbs or batter stuck to the knife, and it felt firm yet moist.  It didn't rise at all, so I hope it's not too heavy!  It smells good, like figs and butter, but I can't smell the nutmeg at all.  I hope we'll be able to taste it.  I haven't decided whether or not to make a sauce to serve with it tomorrow night.  We'll see.

Even though, as the saying goes, "the proof of a pudding is in the eating," I'm calling this a success! 

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding!

vintage pudding mold.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
I finally got started on my baking last week, and hopefully I'll get it all done before I have to start giving baked goods away as Christmas presents!  Don't want to give out any I.O.U.s for cookies ...  Anyway, I got the two kinds of Italian cookies baked, as well as two apple pies (for Thanksgiving), and the first historic recipe of the season: figgy pudding!  I recently bought an antique pudding mold in one of the antique shops in Niles, and I've been wanting to use it ever since!  Unfortunately, there was a bit of rust on the inside, so I wasn't sure if I could boil a pudding in it and avoid getting rust residue on the pudding.  I had received a tip that apple cider vinegar would remove the rust and leave the metal food-safe, but when I scrubbed the rust with the vinegar it didn't seem to remove any of it.  Granted, I didn't let it soak more than a minute or so before scrubbing ... I ended up deciding to line the mold with waxed paper instead of just buttering it like the recipe said, to give a little more protection.  We'll see if that was enough when the pudding comes out of the steamer!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)