[Photographs and original illustrations: Cakespy]

We've all heard the song refrain, but what is figgy pudding, exactly?

You may be surprised—I certainly was—to learn that this baked pudding is really more like a cake. Rich in diced figs and spices, it gives a hint of fruitcakey-ness, but with a flavor that is far superior. The figs give it a mellow, almost honey-like sweetness, and keep it just moist enough to be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that it sticks to your teeth.

I took some liberties with the traditional recipe, substituting crushed graham cracker crumbs for bread crumbs, and going without a water bath. Forgoing the water bath suggested in the recipe I adapted was actually a mistake, but the pudding came out moist, cake-like, and uncracked, so I decided to stick with it here.

Technically, this figgy pudding doesn't need garnish, but I found that it was highly pleasant when paired with a simple confectioners' sugar glaze, and a sprinkling of crystallized mint made it festive and pretty.

So make some figgy pudding, and make it right now! Then, for some real feel-good points, make a Christmas miracle happen by actually bringing someone you love some figgy pudding. Impromptu song and dance routines are possible, but general delight guaranteed.

About the author: Jessie Oleson Moore is a writer, illustrator, gallery owner, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website. Her first book came out in October 2011, and her second book came out in May 2013.

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