This is an old fashioned Christmas recipe. In medieval times puddings were firm and cake-like, not like the custard type puddings we think of. You can substitute the raisins with figs and have a Figgy Pudding!
Grease a 6 cup mold generously. We use a heat-resistant glass bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup chopped raisins. Add 2 Tab. margarine or butter. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tea. baking soda, 1 tea. salt, 1/2 cup molasses and 1 egg. Mix thoroughly to blend. Pour mixture into the mold. Cover with aluminum foil. Place mold in a Dutch Oven or other suitable large pot. Fill pot half-way with boiling water. Keep pudding in boiling water on low heat for 2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pot and let stand 5 minutes. Serve with hard sauce.
Beat 1 stick of softened butter with 1 cup powdered sugar. Add 2 tea. vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 1 hour.