Thursday, 31 January 2013

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pudding

There are many exotic versions of bread and butter pudding around these days. My friend Sarah over at 'Yet Another Lifestyle Blog' recently made a fancy sounding White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread and Butter Pudding, with the genius addition of Amaretto. I am equally as taken with the idea of this Raspberry and Whisky combination  from The Telegraph. 

Yet sadly both of these recipes use brioche, which I didn't have in the house this evening (I've also just realised that they're both alcoholic, which says a lot about me and perhaps wouldn't have been the wisest choice for tea with a five-year old). No, my need for a simple, classic bread and butter pudding was borne from the relative crisis of having nothing for dessert, and half a loaf of stale white bread to use up. So with fond memories of Food Tech lessons at school, I whipped up an old-school frugal version using ingredients that I always have in the kitchen. There is something so carb-ladenly comforting about this dish, that it feels down right illicit to be eating it in January when everyone is still starving themselves.

Serves 4

8 slices of white bread, buttered and sliced into triangles 

100g raisins (you could use currants or sultanas, but I'm not a fan)
50g caster sugar
1 pint milk (or half milk and half cream)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Nutmeg and cinnamon
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Large oven-proof dish

Pre-heat your oven to 100°C. Grease your baking dish with butter.
Cover the bottom of the dish with an initial layer of bread slices, buttered side up.
Add half your raisins and half of your sugar, sprinkling evenly across the bread.
Add another layer of bread, then another layer of fruit and sugar. At this point you should add a third layer of bread to cover the raisins. I forgot to do this which resulted in slightly burnt raisins, but it really wasn't the end of the world (I only used 6 slices of bread which is why I have stated 8 in the recipe).
In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and about 1/2 tsp each of the nutmeg and cinnamon.
Pour evenly over the top of the pudding.

Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the egg and milk mixture to soak into the bread. Make a cup of tea, check your emails, browse Pinterest, perhaps spend an enjoyable 2:33 minutes watching this...

When you've finally dragged yourself away from cat videos, get back to your pudding.

Sprinkle a generous amount of demerara sugar across the top of the pudding, to give it a gloriously crunchy crust, and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden. 
Leave for a few minutes so that it's not too hot, but serve while it is warm. Nobody ever liked cold bread and butter pudding.
Serve as it is, or if you're feeling flush it goes well with single cream or ice cream.

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