Fig and Barley Pudding inspired by Outlander

Fig and Barley Pudding - Outlander on STARZ Episode 110

Jamie has helped to heal the rift between The Mackenzie and his war chief and Claire has taken him back to his bed. The only outstanding item on young Mr. Fraser's list of things to do is to convince the Duke of Sandringham to help him clear his name.

Alas, as we book readers know, Jamie needs to watch his back(side) when engaging the help of the Duke.


Enter that magic potion of Mrs. Fitz's, her centuries-old cure for costiveness, fig syrup.

While I'm always amongst the first to agree that good food is medicine, unfortunately fresh figs are months away from ripe for most of us in the Northern hemisphere, and therefore a batch of that most-effective syrup is beyond our reach.

Instead, I've chosen another traditional receipt, one that lends itself very nicely to the inclusion of a few figs...just in case the Duke comes prowling.

pot barley

Barley, and it's more primitive relative, bere, has been grown for a millennium in the Highlands and Outer Isles. Its hardy stalks weathered the harsh northern climate, short growing season and low pH soil better than any other crop, even oats.

Barley porridge, in it's most traditional form is nothing more than barley boiled in salt water, mixed with raisins and currants, and served with a bit of cream and honey.

If you really want to embrace the feeling of living in an 18th C croft, eating 18th C food, then I encourage you to boil up some barley and go for it. If you're feeling particularly wealthy for a subsistence farmer, then you could soak your dried fruit in a wee dram of whisky before adding it to your barley porridge, I mean pudding.


My more modern version contains milk, cream and everything else that made 18th C food tasty. Citrus fruits were rare back then, but they were available...especially to a wealthy clan such as the MacKenzies.

And while Mrs. Fitz probably would have poured all of the ingredients into some cheesecloth and boiled it in a kettle set over the hearth, my stove top method is quicker, less messy, and a whole lot more conducive to modern life.

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10 Apr 2015 - 4:37pm


Thanks for another wonderful adventure! I'm planning on surprising my viewing partners on Sat night with your creation.

12 Apr 2015 - 3:13pm


It was more than fine! Oh my, we all just LOVED the fig & barley pudding. The chewiness of the barley and the pleasant bitterness of the orange zest and the, well, figginess of the figs - YUM! I love trying unique new recipes. Thanks for doing what you do, fellow Outlander junkie!


Diane, that makes me so happy! I got a lot of "yucks" for this recipe...there aren't many fans of rice puddings or the like anymore. I'm so glad your group enjoyed it!

16 Jun 2015 - 10:59pm


They were a gift from a friend who is an awesome thrift-store shopper, Lizzie. They have no marks or identifiers.

06 Apr 2015 - 12:16pm

Linda Strate

All can say is, making up is fun to do. Jamie found middle ground for Clair and himself.

06 Apr 2015 - 12:48pm

Anna Lapping

Well, that recipe was a surprise and it sounds delicious. My family is particularly fond of barley, so I'm sure this will become a favorite. I have dried figs from my trees and am always looking for new ways to use them.

06 Apr 2015 - 2:28pm

Sue Snyder

I am always looking for nutrient dense treats. This looks hearty and delicious!

06 Apr 2015 - 4:05pm

Susan O'Meara

While I Will keep this recipe with all your others barley is not a favorite no matter how it's doctored with goodies. Oatmeal works for me.

06 Apr 2015 - 7:22pm


this sounds great! Except the Orange... Not a fan of zest in anything, nor orange flavored. Can the liquid be made up with milk? Water? I suppose I could just add more whiskey...


you could up the soaking liquid with apple juice. Do you like lemon zest? Sub that instead.

06 Apr 2015 - 10:54pm


Yum! I love figs! I am excited to make this and it is coming into the colder weather here in Australia so it couldn't be a better time.


How would this recipe go with fresh figs? What alterations would I need to make?


Ooh! Yum, you lucky lass! I would soak and add the raisins as instructed, but wait until the very end to throw in your fresh chopped figs.

06 Apr 2015 - 11:40pm


Hi there. how can i watch this show in Canada if I don't have a Television? HELP!!!!


Up here in Canada, we're lucky to be able to purchase the whole 1st season on iTunes. That's how I watch it!

07 Apr 2015 - 4:27am


This sounds perfect for next episode. Made Atholl Brose for return of show. Since its like drinking oatmeal it's healthy!!

08 Apr 2015 - 6:29pm


I'm so going to make it his! Made barley risotto once and it was awesome...and here now something for my sweet tooth, perfect!!

09 Apr 2015 - 12:55am


would this work with a soy or almond milk and creamer? I have a dairy allergy.

09 Apr 2015 - 12:56am

Janice Campbell Sims

I'm going out tomorrow to hunt down some figs. This sounds really good.


Hi, Janice, On a somewhat related note, are you a member of Clan Campbell Society? Clan Campbell Society of North America's website is

09 Apr 2015 - 1:28am

Holly Bingham

I just love how the whiskey is used in the figs! I've been making pearl barley soup lately and love the thickness in the soup. Going to try this recipe this weekend. Thanks!

09 Apr 2015 - 1:31am

Glenna MacDonald

This recipe sounds good! At what point do you add the soaked fruit? Thanks!

09 Apr 2015 - 1:51am


Am I missing something? When do I add the figs & raisins into the barley mixture? Do I also add the whiskey & orange juice?

09 Apr 2015 - 1:56am


"Zest the orange before you juice it trust methings will go a whole lot easier." I truly love your sense of humor. ;-)

09 Apr 2015 - 2:21am

Barbara Harmony

I'm wondering how this might be with tapioca instead of barley.

Barbara Harmony

Saturday night for Outlander S2E2, the Old 'Fig' Garden Girls are gathering once again and planning 'Fig' & Tapioca pudding with a nice Cab. Stay tuned. Definitely worth a try!!

09 Apr 2015 - 2:24am

Lauren Cramer

ex husband was a chef - and one of the best (only) parts of our marriage aside from two Bonnie lassies ... Was training in the kitchen. Absolutely going for this recipe and will make sure there's plenty of whisky for the pudding as well as for the process

09 Apr 2015 - 1:29pm

Kathi Zale

I love barely and have been looking for ways to use it. Something sweet and healthy for breakfast is just the ticket. Thank you .

09 Apr 2015 - 8:52pm

Tom Walker

Gabhaibh mo leisgeul, keep your hands off my whisky.

10 Apr 2015 - 8:00pm


Barley pudding has been one of my husband's favorite recipes. We grow our own barley and roast it. The dehulling can be a bit of work but the end result is rewarding. I'm not a huge fan of barley pudding myself (I think it's more of a texture thing for me rather then flavor) but this stuff is my husband's favorite! Thank you for sharing such a traditional and authentic recipe!

10 Apr 2015 - 11:10pm


Can I use fig jam? Have some in freezer...


Sounds like a plan to me! Maybe top each portion with a dollop just before you serve? If you cook it it will break up and possibly give you a muddy looking pudding.

11 Apr 2015 - 9:03pm


I couldn't find light cream so I bought half-n-half. I now see that doesn't have as high a fat percentage. Will the recipe still work with the half-n-half?


Yes! It will be fine. Just make sure it doesn't boil after you add the cream and yolks

15 Apr 2015 - 9:19pm

Lesanne Fliehler

Made this last weekend and enjoyed it with a friend during the "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" episode. Love the figs in this! Well, basically, it was all good, but I'd never used the dried figs in anything before. I did not use the whiskey, but next time I may. Keep up the great work in the kitchen, Theresa!

18 Apr 2015 - 4:32pm


Made this a few moments ago and I'm really surprised! It tasted amazing! I've never eaten rice pudding or something like that before since it seems to be a rare thing here in Germany but I really like the texture of this pudding! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Greetings Romy

21 Apr 2015 - 9:59pm

Bird Lady

Verra goooood, Lass! I made it with chopped apricots instead of raisins. The directions did not say when to add the dried fruit, so I added it after I stirred in the milk and honey and let it cook for 10 minutes. It tu ed out great. We enjoy the chewiness of the barley.

21 Apr 2015 - 10:04pm

Bird Lady

P.S. I clicked on the title and used the "printable version." It did not receive your update re: adding fruit.

15 Jun 2015 - 3:15am


This looks delicious! Would you mind saying where those mugs are from? They're beautiful.

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