By Todd Perrin
According to chef Todd Perrin, what most people eat on Thanksgiving or Christmas, a lot of Newfoundlanders will have every Sunday.
Figgy duff is just what you make when you have a bunch of family and friends over. It’s a quick bread that you ram together and then boil in water. Whatever you’ve got in your cupboard you can put in it—apples, raisins, berries. It’s easy and, certainly in this part of the world, something everyone is familiar with. A boiled pudding in your pot is “duff ” and if it’s got raisins in it it’s “figgy.”
It’s a version of a classic Christmas plum or “figgy” pudding with roots in the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland. People from Cornwall called raisins “figs,” but it could be blueberries or partridgeberries or whatever you want. It came out of necessity as opposed to being a culinary thing. It’s just a vessel to use up the dried fruit or whatever you’ve got kicking around, like so much Newfoundland food. It was always part of the Sunday and holiday dinners at my grandmother’s house.
From Canada’s 100 Best Cooking Issue 2016
- 500 ml (2 cups) flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) raisins
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 175 ml (3/4 cup) milk
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) melted butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine flour and raisins in a large bowl and mix well. Add sugar, baking powder, allspice and cloves, and mix well. Add milk, melted butter and vanilla, and mix until a soft dough forms.
Transfer to a muslin bag, or wrap in cheesecloth, and tie. Bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil, salt lightly, and reduce to a simmer.
Add wrapped dough, and poach for 1½ hours. Serve with hard sauce.