Figgy Pudding (Steam Pudding)

Figgy Pudding (Steam Pudding)
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 – 2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups apples, grated
2 cups raisins, currents, or chopped figs
4 cups soft breadcrumbs

Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

Generously butter 7-wide mouth pint jars, a bundt pan or steam pudding pan; set aside.

Place trivet or rack in a large stock pot (pan should be large enough to hold jars or steam pudding pan). Jar rings work well as a trivet; I like to use a canning kettle or steam canner. Fill stock pot with 1-2 inches water; heat water while preparing pudding.

Beat together butter and sugar; add eggs and beat until creamy. Stir in carrots, apples, and raisins or figs and mix well; stir in bread crumbs; stir in flour mixture. Spoon into buttered jars or pan (fill approximately 3/4 full). Place a tight fitting lid on each jar or wrap tops tightly with foil, crimping foil under rim of jar to prevent water seeping into pudding and making it soggy. If a bundt pan is used seal or plug up the top of the center vent to prevent steam from entering the pan.

Bring water in stock pot to a boil, reduce heat to simmer (water should remain gently boiling or simmering throughout the steaming process – adjust heat accordingly); place filled jars in stock pot, cover pan and steam pudding 3 hours. Periodically check water level in pan, adding additional ‘boiling’ water as needed to prevent pan from boiling dry.

Unmold pudding and store pudding in refrigerator for about 1 week, or freeze for later use. Pudding may be served hot or cold and is delicious served with Caramelized Sugar Pudding Sauce.

Caramelized Sugar Pudding Sauce:
Place 1/4 cup white sugar in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir sugar constantly until it melts and turns a golden brown color – the darker the color the stronger the flavor – if sugar is too dark it will have a burnt taste. Remove caramelized sugar from heat and gradually add 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk – stirring constantly. Sugar will immediately harden and create steam; be careful not to get burned by the steam. Return pan to heat and stirring constantly reheat milk – melting sugar from sides and bottom of pan. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and dash salt. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1/2 cup milk or cream; stir into sauce mixture. Stirring constantly, cook sauce until thickened. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Sauce may be served hot or cold.

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