Sticky fig pudding with Armagnac ice cream, vanilla sauce and poached figs

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves
Serves 6

Dietary
Vegetarian


By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen

Ingredients

For the sticky fig pudding

  • 200g/7oz dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 180g/6¼oz dates, roughly chopped
  • 100g/3½oz prunes, roughly chopped
  • 150ml/5fl oz Armagnac
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150g/5½oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 50g/1¾oz self-raising flour
  • 130g/4½oz dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

For the ice cream

  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • 250ml/9fl oz full-fat milk
  • 125g/4½oz caster sugar
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp Armagnac, to taste

For the poached figs

  • 3 ripe fresh figs
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2-4 tbsp Armagnac, to taste
  • 150g/5½oz caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the vanilla sauce

  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 250ml/9fl oz double cream
  • 35g/1¼oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, diced

Method

  1. To make the fig pudding, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well. Place in a large pudding basin and level the top. Cut a round of greaseproof paper to cover the bowl and place over the pudding. Make a pleat in the centre of a large round of kitchen foil and place this over the pudding. Pull the foil down the sides of the bowl and tie around the bowl with string. Trim off any excess foil all the way round.

  2. Place the basin into a large saucepan and fill with water to come two thirds of the way up the basin. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and steam for 3-4 hours. Check the water level each hour and top up with more boiling water if the level has fallen.

  3. To make the ice cream, place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it has dissolved. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl then slowly whisk in the warm cream mixture. Stir in the Armagnac. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until thickened. Transfer to an ice-cream machine to churn until frozen.

  4. To make the poached figs, place the figs and pear in a saucepan with 200ml/7fl oz water, Armagnac, sugar and cinnamon and bring to the boil. Poach for 5–10 minutes, or until soft.

  5. To make the vanilla sauce, place the vanilla seeds, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in the butter.

  6. Serve the pudding with the ice cream, poached figs and vanilla sauce.