Old fashioned bread and butter pudding

There are those few recipes that will always last from generation to generation no matter how often food trends change. Desserts like Eton Mess and Bread and Butter Pudding are 2 examples. Every chef knocks them for being old school…but I’ve yet to meet a chef who doesn’t gleefully add them to menus now and then. They’re tried and tested and fail proof.

I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of bread and butter pudding, I’ve found lots of people use bread that is far too soft and so becomes soggy when baked with the custard. Also found a lot of people forget that is also about texture and so they fail to make sure there is a crunchy crust to their pudding. Eating a soggy, mushy bowl of bread and custard with raisins isn’t exactly something I’d want to have at the end of a meal.

To get that crispy crust to your pudding, brush it with apricot jam mixed with a little water before baking the pudding. To prevent the pudding being a soft baby food consistency use good quality french bread with a crispy crust. I go further and even let the bread sit out over night to become a bit stale. Its up to you really…

100g Unsalted butter
8 slices bread
8 egg yolks (preferably free-range)
1 whole egg
140g caster sugar
500ml full cream milk
570ml thick cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 spoons dried cranberries
4 tablespoons apricot jam
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
Zest of one orange

– Butter the bread and place in the butter dish in layers. Sprinkle the cinnamon, cranberries, zest and nutmeg over the bread
– Heat the milk and cream with the vanilla in a pot until hot (don’t boil!)
– Mix the yolks and one egg with the sugar
– Gently and slowly pour the milk and cream mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and curdling of the eggs
– Pour the mixture over the bread and allow it to soak for 20 minutes
– Place the dish in a deep roasting tray that has enough water to read halfway up the side of the pudding dish
– Bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius until the custard has set (45mins)
– About 5 minutes before done, remove the pudding and brush it with the apricot jam. Return the dish to the oven for the last 5-10 minutes
– Before serving the pudding allow it to sit and rest for a bit so that it firms up

Awesome with chocolate sauce, chantilly cream or ice cream.

Chef Lesego (@LesDaChef)

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