There is something special about a bread and butter pudding just out of the oven. This is a recipe of contrasts, with a crunchy top and a gooey middle. It’s a treat to round off any meal.
The origin of the bread and butter pudding was simple frugality — how best to fashion a pudding from days-old bread, a few eggs and some store cupboard spices.
Serves six to eight.
YOU WILL NEED
500-600g loaf brioche or similar sweet
loaf, cut into 14 slices (you may need two
60g-80g butter, softened
170g jumbo golden sultanas
90ml dark-brown rum
4 large eggs
160g caster or muscovado sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence to taste
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or some
cinnamon or mixed spice
1 tbsp caster sugar, to sprinkle on top
Pre-heat the oven to 165°C/Gas Mark 4. Use a little of the softened butter to grease a square or rectangular ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate the ingredients.
Place the jumbo sultanas and the dark rum into a small stainless-steel saucepan, bring to the boil and then remove and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla essence. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any globules of egg and put into a jug for easy pouring.
Use the remaining softened butter to butter one side of each slice of brioche. Place a layer of brioche slices, butter-side down, on the bottom of the dish. Grate a generous amount of fresh nutmeg on to the bread slices, then sprinkle with a third of the sultanas and place another layer of buttered brioche slices on top, adding more nutmeg and sultanas before adding the final layer of brioche and topping with the remaining sultanas and another generous grating of nutmeg.
Sprinkle with an extra tablespoon of sugar. Pour the strained custard mixture evenly over the pudding and leave it to soften for an hour or so before baking in a bain-marie, made by placing the dish into a larger roasting tin or a dish with water coming halfway up the side.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp and the centre is just set. Enjoy this hot from the oven with cream or ice cream.