When I set out to make this healthy Christmastime treat, I wanted to make a warm winter spiced dessert. But I certainly did not think I’d create this neo-traditional Christmastime treat! But somehow, The Ghost of Christmases Past infused this Figgy Pudding Coconut Butter with a Victorian bittersweetness that only Dickens could capture. Well, and me. I also captured it. In this dessert.
Now, bring us some Figgy Pudding (Coconut Butter!)
Traditionally a figgy pudding, or Christmas/plum pudding, is a steamed spice cake made with “figs,” (dried fruits, mostly raisins), and suet. Then, set on fire after being doused in brandy, and served with some type of cream topping: hard sauce, custard, butter, ice cream etc.
Since this qualifies as Paleo AND Vegan (or can we just say, VEGEO???) this can satisfy even the most mixed bag of holiday party attendees. And a healthy way to create something small and special for yourself and loved ones around the holiday season!
I get it. My preferred yuletide treat is rum cake. At every meal. From Halloween through Mardi Gras. I love sugar just as much as the next guy…BUT! The soft texture of this Figgy Pudding Coconut Butter actually reminds me of cake without all of the gluteny sugar coma aftermath. It leaves this SoCal girl wishing she had a raging fire to sit by while she chows down!
And a little of this coconut butter will go a long way! Perfect to enjoy with gluten-free sugar cookies, sliced apples, or nurse a slice alongside a nip of brandy. (I mean, we can get a little naughty, right…?)
Try throwing in some candied orange and/or lemon peel for a sweeter, festive take! Oh, and if we want to get weird with it, why not throw in some cherries and walnuts and call it a fruitcake?
1 c dried figs1/2 c absinthe or Pernod + 1/2 c boiling water (OR sub 1 c hot water + 1 tsp anise extract)
2 tsp orange zest (about one xl orange)
1 tbsp liquid sweetener (agave, honey, maple syrup)
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Soak figs in absinthe or Pernod and water, OR water and 1 tsp anise extract. Be sure to soak in a container that allows figs to be just covered by liquid. (I like to use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Soak for at least two hours.
When figs are rehydrated, drain and reserve 1-2 teaspoons of soaking liquid.
Blend coconut shreds in a high-speed blender (preferred) for 2-5 minutes, or process infoodprocessor until liquid: 2-3 minutes.
Add figs, zest, sweetener and 1 tsp of soaking liquid and process until combined, scraping down the bowl when needed. If you would like a stronger anise flavor, add the second teaspoon of soaking liquid and process.
Add spices and process until incorporated.
Place into a mini fluted cake pan or small bowl lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm.
After about an hour, begin making the sauce: stir together all sauce ingredients, and refrigerate, stirring and checking viscosity, every 20 minutes. This can take a while, but don’t give up!
Once the sauce reaches a gooey, but still fluid consistency, similar to room temperature nut butter, remove sauce and coconut butter from the fridge.
Unmold coconut butter and set on serving plate.*
Slowly drizzle sauce over top of the molded butter, smoothing out the top with the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the sides for a dripping effect, and place in refrigerator to set.
Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before serving
* If you did not line pan/bowl with plastic wrap, you may need to set the bowl in warm water to loosen and unmold the butter. If this is the case, after unmolding, put the coconut butter back in the fridge to chill. It is best for this to be chilled unless you are skipping the sauce. The cold coconut butter will help the sauce to set instead of dripping all over the place.