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Newfoundland Figgy Duff. A generations old tradition.

Newfoundland Figgy Duff. It has nothing to do with figs; raisins were once referred to as figs here & are always added to this traditional steamed pudding.

Newfoundland Figgy Duff on a white plate with a molasses jug on the side

Newfoundland Figgy Duff.

First for those of you reading without benefit of Newfoundland experience, Newfoundland Figgy Duff has nothing to do with figs, dried fresh or otherwise. Raisins are historically referred to as figs in many parts of the province.

This recipe is of course a close cousin to the Blueberry Duff, which is still made throughout the year using frozen blueberries but is especially good at the beginning of the summer blueberry season.

Newfoundland Figgy Duff dough in a metal bowl, ready to go into the pudding bag

Newfoundland Figgy Duff.

A recent email request and this mornings brunch prompted me to add my standard recipe for Figgy Duff. A young lady from the southern US who is married to a Newfoundlander asked for assistance in preparing this dish.

I was reluctant to answer with a definitive recipe because I don’t believe that one actually exists.

Newfoundland Figgy Duff beoing lowered into a pot of boiling water

Newfoundland Figgy Duff.

I have encountered many variations of what people call Figgy Duff here in Newfoundland. Family history and local variations of the recipe account for many differences in both opinion and experience of what Figgy Duff actually is.

It is a close cousin to the traditional English Spotted Dick where, I suspect, a part of our English and Irish heritage has survived over the centuries in this dish.

Raisins for Hot Cross Buns shown in a white bowl.

Sultana Raisins are great in this recipe but you can use any kind you like.

The origin of our family’s Figgy Duff recipe.

This is a slight variation on my grandmother, Belinda Morgan’s recipe, where I remember having it at many a Sunday dinner in her Port-de-Grave kitchen. A similar recipe with the addition of molasses and spices I have heard referred to as Labrador Duff.

Other recipe variations I have seen include breadcrumbs, orange zest or currants but I have never attempted any of those.

To debate what is a proper Figgy Duff is to engage in the silliest of arguments. It is futile to argue the virtues of one over the other because it is impossible to overcome the power of the inextricably entwined memories that people associate with such things.

It is much more interesting to me to explore and appreciate the differences than to debate them. There is no right and wrong here, just differences of experience.

Figgy Duff leftovers.

Leftover Newfoundland Figgy Duff fried in butter and served with molasses.

One of my indulgences is to pan fry thick slices of the leftovers in butter for brunch the next day and serve it with molasses. (Time to put a cardiologist on retainer!)

A couple of British friends tell me that this is commonly done with the leftover Christmas pudding back in the UK as well. Throw a couple of slices of the leftover Christmas ham into the pan with it and you are definitely good until supper. 😉

Looking for more Newfoundland-inspired cuisine?

If you’d like to see more traditionally inspired recipes from our province, please check out this collection on some of our Most Popular Newfoundland recipes.

Top Ten Newfoundland Recipes photo collage for Pinterest

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Newfoundland Figgy Duff on a white plate with a molasses jug on the side
Yield: 8 servings or more

Newfoundland Figgy Duff

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Newfoundland Figgy Duff has nothing to do with figs; raisins were once referred to as figs here & are always added to this traditional steamed pudding.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour sugar and baking powder.
  2. Add the raisins and toss well.
  3. Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Mix all together with a wooden spoon just until a soft dough is formed. Put dough into a pudding steamer or a wet heavy cotton pudding bag, tying the bag with a piece of butcher string but leaving about an inch of slack at the top to allow the pudding to expand. Boil for approximately 1 1/2 hours. This is most often done in the pot with the boiled root vegetables, cabbage and salt beef included in a Jiggs Dinner but can be done in a pot on its own as well.

Notes

Note: you can substitute the sugar for ½ cup molasses and adjust the milk accordingly to form the proper consistency of the dough. Spices like 1 tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp allspice can also be added as variationsTraditionally served with a roast dinner or Jiggs Dinner but also served as a dessert with a rum butter sauce.For those who have been asking, there is an alternative to the pudding bag. You can get a pudding steamer here on Amazon: [asa2]B001RPH3IO[/asa2]

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving Calories 303Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 22mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 24gProtein 5g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Shirley

Thursday 12th of November 2020

Love this recipe! Its one our family's favorite, but not sure if i am doing something wrong because my pudding always sticks to the bag witch makes it harder to remove in one piece.

Amber

Friday 25th of September 2020

My daughter is dairy free what can I substitute for milk?

Danielle O’Connor

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Is this ever referred to as Lad in a bag, or is that something else. My grandmother from Newfoundland used to make Lad in a bag. I’m enjoying all your recipes and notes.

Thank you.

Cindy Craig

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

No

Robin

Sunday 20th of October 2019

I haven’t made this. Growing up I had steamed suet pudding and one called cottage pudding/jam cap pudding. The English spotted Dick. Most of the puddings were served with either a custard sauce or vanilla sauce. I currently don’t have a pudding mould in my kitchen. I gave it to my daughter! I will fix this ASAP.

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