5 April 2020 – Fig Pudding Day

Today I’ve been eating figs as it’s Fig Sunday, aka Palm Sunday, aka St Derfel’s Day, aka Sul y Blodau or Flowering Sunday, aka Spanish Sunday, but in the Cotswolds, the sixth Sunday in Lent is called Fig Pudding Day. There’s all sorts of different folklore going on today, but seeing as I love figs and I love pudding, it was a no brainer. However, I do have some regrets. I gave myself a choice between making a traditional(ish) fig pudding or giving the folklore a quick update and making fig rolls. I went for pudding, I should have gone for rolls.

Fig puddings are traditionally eaten today all over country, and so there are lots of regional recipes out there all vying for supremacy. But most use ingredients I didn’t have or couldn’t eat, so I settled on a non-traditional gluten-free sticky one. And it was easy; I toasted some nuts, added the chopped dried figs to warmed soya milk along with coconut oil and sugar. I thought the amount of sugar in the recipe was a bit extreme given how sweet figs are, plus I’d added prunes to make up the weight, so I only added a bit of date syrup instead.

And while the hob was doing its thing, I then mixed all the dry ingredients together. The lockdown has meant I’m finally addressing the back of my cupboards, I have no idea how old that arrowroot was, but in it went.

When the figs were rehydrated, I stirred them into the dry ingredients before pouring the mixture into a tin lined with grease proof paper. And when I say pouring the mixture, I mean dolloping the clag. Dolloping the clag onto the grease proof paper, which in hindsight should have been greased. Then into the oven. 

Half an hour later, the toothpick came out dry and half an hour after that I had a slice. Not bad. Maybe could have done with being, ahem, a little more sweet, and definitely could have done with a shedload more spice, and some stem ginger. And maybe not so much chickpea flour. But it fills a gap. Especially when smeared peanut butter. But then, what isn’t improved with a smear of peanut butter?

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Resources

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn

Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

https://traditional-yorkshire-recipes.info/2018/04/12/fig-sunday-pudding/

http://www.foodsofengland.co.uk/blackburnfigpie.htm

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