Happy Holidays! This edition of Getting Grilled is a special one for me. I get to introduce the greatest woman on Earth. She’s the angel who raised me from two years old and in many ways still guides me to this day. Please welcome my grandmother, Hannah Bursey with our very old family recipe for Christmas Prune and Fig Cake.
Food Dude: Welcome, Nan.
Nan: Thank you. (smiles)
FD: So, what do you have for my fine readers today?
N: This is our family recipe for old fashioned Christmas prune and fig cake.
FD: As a millennial, that sounds gross. As a Newfoundlander, this sounds delicious.
N: What are ya getting’ on with now?
FD: Never mind. Out of curiosity, how old is our recipe?
N: Five generations of women passed down this recipe and now I suppose one generation for a man. (giggles)
FD: Gotta love that newfangled social equality. Tell us a bit about it?
N: Well, we never had no cherries, dates or mixed fruits. Never even heard of any of it back then. Our cakes were always delicious though. We made them in an old wood stove oven and used iron cake pots.
FD: Did you make them a lot growing up?
N: Oh yes, and we always made enough for two cakes. By the time Santa Claus got his piece with a glass of goat’s milk and the mummers got their share with a glass of syrup, at least one cake was gone.
FD: I suppose mummering was still on the go back then.
N: Oh goodness, yes! They would come by the dozens and always knew what house to go to to get the best cake.
FD: Was our house that house?
N: (laughs) Yes it was. In Dover, or Wellington as it used to be called, it was always the best cake.
FD: Can I still publish the recipe? You know, even though it’s giving away the best cake?
N: That’s what it’s for sure, to be give away.
Nan’s Old Fashioned Fig and Prune Cake
1 lb figs
1 lb prunes
1 cup molasses
1 cup butter
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp allspice
2 cups flour
Pit your figs and prunes. Boil them in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Preheat oven to 350 F. Add all wet ingredients to the well and mix until smooth. Grease two cake pans and divide the batter evenly into both. Bake for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
FD: Out of curiosity, Nan. Can this cake be combined with any sauces to help us millenials choke it down?
N: You torment. Yes she can go with anything from custard, a caramel sauce or anything in between. It’s good to try new things with food and be creative.
FD: A woman after my own heart. Thank you, Nan. I loves ya all the world.
N: I loves you too, M’love.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!