Local Hero | Figgy's Christmas Puddings

Our Local Hero for December is Jo Evans from Figgy's Pudding, a home grown family run Christmas pudding business based in Devon.

December 9th 2013

When and why did you start Figgy's?
We started Figgy’s in 2007 while I was on maternity leave with our first child. We’d always made Christmas Puddings for friends and family, who preferred them to the shop-bought ones. There didn’t seem to be any Christmas Puddings on the market that really tasted homemade, so we decided to give it a go. I made just 100 in that first year, although with a newborn in tow it felt like 10,000!

Whats your favourite pudding to make when its not Christmas?
I love to make steamed sponge puddings. They’re so much more forgiving than cakes! The lower cooking temperature means you can use fresh fruit, chocolate, syrup, etc and it doesn’t burn. The combinations are endless. I just throw whatever I’ve got spare into the bottom of the bowl (e.g. fresh pineapple; raspberries; strawberries; or chocolate), top up with sponge mixture and boil for a couple of hours. When you turn it out of the bowl the ingredients in the bottom of the bowl become a lovely gooey topping for your pudding – delicious!

What do you love most about your job?
It’s great to be part of such a special day of the year. I still smile when I think of everyone tucking into our Christmas Puddings on Christmas Day – just like I used to when I made them for friends and family. We get such lovely feedback after Christmas too, like the chap last year who said it bought back memories of childhood when him and his siblings would tuck into Mum’s homemade Christmas Pud. For me that’s the best compliment we could get.

How many people work at Figgy's?
It’s just my husband Richie and I. We still do everything by hand. It takes us 6 weeks to make all our Christmas Puddings – something that takes the big factories just an hour!!

What do you love most about Devon?
Devon is such a foodie place. There are hundreds of small producers and a real community of food lovers. We have so many great food festivals throughout the year, it’s a fabulous place for foodies like us to live.

How easy is it to make your own Christmas pudding, what tips would you give to those trying it for the first time this year?
Christmas Pudding is really easy – a lot easier than Christmas cake – but it is very time consuming. It’s best to embrace the tradition and take time to enjoy the process as part of the excitement of Christmas, rather than seeing it as a chore. Set aside a whole weekend so you can prepare everything and make the mixture on the first day (there’s nothing to it – just mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl at once with a big spoon!), and then steam them on the second day (which takes 6-8 hours). An electric steamer can make life a lot easier too!

Visit Figgy's Puddings via their website, Facebook and Twitter.