Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Steamed Figgy Pudding

What is a “Figgy Pudding”? Very simple, a pudding made with figs not raisins. After much research on this topic there is much evidence to this confirmation. Back in the early 1800s, leaveners used were eggs and steam with the possibility of adding pearl ash. Not until 1830s (baking soda) and 1840s (baking soda & cream of tartar = baking powder) were introduced. The recipe below reflects the period of the early 1800s. You can use a pudding bowl, basin or pudding bag.

Photo by Chief Instructor Chef Mark, Liaison College Oakville, ON.

Makes 4-6 servings

Prepare pudding bowl as per instructions.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped suet
  • 1 cup stale breadcrumbs
  • 1¾ cups chopped dried figs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 oz milk
  • Butter (greasing bowl)


In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, suet, breadcrumbs, and figs. Add eggs and milk to mixture, stir until well blended.

Spoon batter in a well-greased 1-quart pudding bowl with butter and steam for 2.5 hours. Once steaming is completed, lift pudding bowl from pan and remove foil and parchment paper. Cool for 10 minutes. Using a palette knife, loosen all around the pudding and remove pudding by gently shaking onto a serving plate. Serve with cream or custard.

Note: Adding 1 tsp of baking powder to this recipe gives the pudding a nice rise.

Instructions on how to Steam a Pudding

1. Make a lid using foil and parchment paper to cover top of bowl;
2. Form a pleat (1 inch) in middle of both foil and parchment paper;
3. Place on top of bowl and form around;
4. Tie in place and create a handle before placing in steamer or lidded pan;
5. Use boiling water and ensure water level inside pan reaches half-way up bowl;
6. Check at 30-minute intervals to ensure it does not boil dry;
7. Water level should not fall below 1 quarter up the bowl; add
8. Add boiling water when necessary.

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