Place the figs in a medium bowl and pour over hot water to cover. Set the figs aside to soften—from 5 minutes if your figs are very moist, to 20 if your figs are leathery.
Drain the figs and blot dry with a paper towel. Remove the stems from the figs and chop the figs, or process them to a rough puree in a food processor (do not reduce them to a paste). Set aside.
Pour the milk and/or half-and-half and the heavy cream into a 3-quart saucepan, set over low heat, and stir the mixture slowly as it heats. When small bubbles begin to appear around the edges, remove from the heat; do not let boil.
Add the pureed figs to the pan and stir with a spoon or spatula, pressing on them to break them up and mix them with the milk and cream.
Divide the mixture among six 1-cup serving dishes, making sure that each dish gets some of the fig pieces, which will have sunk to the bottom of the pan. Or pour the mixture into one large bowl. Let cool to room temperature, 2 hours or so, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 more hours.
Serve the pudding cold, topped with chopped nuts.