This pudding may be made with figs for a dark, rich, traditional pudding, or with dried apricots for a lighter, slightly tarter version. Whole or halved dried apricots may be used. You'll need eight small pudding molds. Steam for 2 hours to produce moister puddings, 2 hours 20 minutes for denser puddings.
Crumble: A British name for a blend of berries or other fruit with a textured sugary topping, often with oats; the result is all but synonymous with a crisp. Our individual servings include rhubarb, strawberries, and raspberries nestled under an oatless blend of butter, brown sugar, flour, salt, and grated orange zest.
England's spin on the Christmas cocktail was the ancient beverage known as wassail, essentially Middle English for "cheers." The base alcohol was beer, mead, or wine, heated with sliced apples and spices and served in the customary wassail bowl. This version, scented with cloves and allspice, cleverly combines apples with cider and Calvados.
We love egg-based challah (or brioche) for its golden color and rich texture, but you can use Italian or white sandwich bread instead. Bakery bread that's a day or two old (or sandwich bread that's gone slightly stale) also works well for bread-pudding -- it may need to soak a little longer to absorb the liquid.