The Good News

How I came to make this pudding is one of those bad news-good news kinds of deals:

  • Bad news: Nasty run-in with bread knife.
  • Good news: No stitches.
  • Bad news: Several days confinement in metal splint extending across palm of hand.
  • More bad news: Can’t examine patients with this thing, so no work for me.
  • Good news: More time to bake.
  • Bad news: Can’t shape bread either.
  • Good news: Dessert.

. . . . . .

  • Bad news: Daughter locks keys in car.
  • Good news: I am home when she calls.
  • Bad news: Drive 30 minutes (rush-hour traffic) with spare key.
  • Good news: Farmer’s market in progress a block away from stranded car.
  • Bad news: Not much cash on me.
  • Good news: Figs are cheap this time of year.

. . . . . .

  • Bad news: Surplus of dry crusty bread.
  • Good news: Bread pudding.
  • Bad news: Can’t cut neatly through bread without risk of further injury.
  • Good news: Food processor.

. . . . . .

Fig Upside-Down Bread Pudding

Yield: one 10-inch pudding (12 or more servings)


  • Prepare: 15 minutes
  • Bake: 50 minutes
  • Cool: 1 hour
  • (Rest: overnight)


  • 20 figs (about 475 g)
  • 30 g toasted slivered almonds
  • 100 g honey
  • 85 g (6 T.) butter
  • 730 g (3 c.) milk
  • 200 g (4 whole) eggs
  • 100 g fine sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 250 g. dry, very fine bread crumbs (dry the bread completely before grinding)
  • 50 g almond meal


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Remove the stems from the figs and cut the figs in half lengthwise.
  3. Heat the butter and honey together over medium heat until they are both melted and the mixture is bubbly.
  4. Butter a 10-inch cake pan and pour in the syrup. Press the figs, cut side down, into the syrup, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and salt. Add the bread crumbs and almond meal and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  6. Slowly pour the bread crumb mixture over the figs.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the pudding is puffed and just set.
  8. Allow the pudding to cool in the pan for about one hour, then invert onto a plate.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature, or warm with cinnamon ice cream. I think this is best the next day, after the syrup has had time to permeate the pudding.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    I think there must be an epidemic of knife accidents going on. I almost sliced off the top of my thumb (for the third time in as many years) and it is currently bandaged up pretty heavily. That, and a jam-packed freezer are seriously cramping my bread baking! Hope you get better, and soon.

  2. says

    I have cut my hand several times-and needed stitches-that hurt for months. Nicked the nerve. Scares me to hear of others cutting hands too. Get well quick. And as soon as I get to store to buy figs, I am so gonna make this.

  3. says

    Owie! I am so hurt with you. Year ago I lifted a short stack of 5 soup bowls, the bottom bowl was cracked and broke as Iifted them; nice slice down my thumb, seven stitches. All your bad news is really bad, your good news makes me feel like a sister.
    The fig pudding looks totally fantastic!! Now I’m so looking forward to figs coming in.
    Heal fast.

  4. Kristen says

    Delurking to say OUCH! Add me to the list of people who have required stitches. I did it twice–two years in a row on the exact same date. The knife gods were clearly trying to tell me something. I have since treated my knives very, very well and haven’t needed stitches since. {knocking wood furiously} May you heal quickly and thank you much for sharing this fig pudding! It must have hurt to type this post!

  5. says

    Entertaining post- I wanted to make a column and see what won; the good or the bad. But by the looks of that delectable cake I would say the good news won out! Hope you mend well…

  6. says

    Your fig pudding is certainly good news. And since evry bit of bad news is countered with some good, I’d say except for the very bad news about your hand, all the rest was good.:)
    Hope you are better now.

  7. says

    This looks incredible. I only recently found your blog and am happy to see someone carrying out the many interests I share. Your earth oven travails are fantastic and the recipes and tips on good cookbooks are, without fail, inspiring to me. I tagged you over on my blog.

  8. says

    A silver lining to every cloud!

    I’ve never seen a bread pudding made with bread crumbs but it looks delicious. I think I’d prefer the smoother texture.

  9. says

    I guess good & bad travel hand in hand; 2 sides of the coin Susan!! Loved the read…very nice! Believe it or not, I had a nasty cut too, my daughter locked my keys into the car too. How strange…hmmmmmmmm..BTW, love the dessert!

  10. says

    Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! I’m happy to report that I’m just about back to normal now.

    SteveB wasn’t kidding about the bad news in the world right now. My minor injury is nothing in comparison. How about we all try to find a way, big or small, to make some good news?

  11. says

    I hope you get to feeling better really soon. I’ll admit I am waiting ever so impatiently (sigh) for updates on your lovely outdoor oven. Your recipes are inspiring, and the photos are gorgeous… beautiful.

  12. says

    Good news… I’m spending the afternoon picking figs.
    Bad news… none! Which makes more good news!
    Now I know what I’ll I be doing with some of those figs!
    Thanks Susan.
    I can relate to your situation. Last spring I broke a finger in a very stupid manner. I have bread dough rising and when I got home from the hospital, I had two girlfriend’s that tried to do the shaping for me. It was a bit of a disaster.
    Hope yours heals quickly.

  13. says

    Good news: I’m spending the afternoon picking figs!
    Bad news: none… so that makes more good news!
    I now know what I’ll be doing with some of those figs. Gorgeous.
    Hope you heal rapidly.

  14. says

    Susan, I liked the innovative write up! Especially the daughter lost key part – here it is always the husband who manages that part!! Take care of that finger – we want to see our breads regularly:). Oh! The dessert for a change is good too! Won’t be trying this as it is not vegan but looks really nice:)

  15. says

    I read myself, and guess I should clear it up a bit!
    What I meant was, featuring a great dessert for a change is a good idea!! Up there it gives an impression that – for a change your dessert looks good – was not meant to sound like that!! So sorry:(

  16. says

    This post rocks, Susan. I’m so sorry about the cut, but I am so happy you shared this fig dessert. OMG–It’s sensational! I actually giggled out loud at the good news of the farmers’ market near the car. I can so relate. :) Get better soon!

  17. James says

    I am a little late with my post, but just seen this wonderful recipe. I was wondering what this bright bottom in the pictures might be. Did you use a separate baked pastry case ? Or will it just look that way after baking ? Because normally it would look either like the rest or be a little darker, but not brighter !? Thanks for explaining.

  18. says

    James, there is no separate crust, but the bottom (which is the top during baking) has a layer of custard that is rather crumb-free, due to the crumbs settling to the bottom when the mixture is poured over the figs.

  19. James says

    ah, o.k., i see, thank you. It really looks like a separate baked bottom. At the next occasion i have to try this one. Looks too good. Hopefully i also get this kind of “bottomseperation” :)

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