Recipé for bread and butter pudding
On this page: This is my variation on an English nursery pudding. My memories of it in childhood always recall the ghastly discovery of uncooked eggy bits lurking at the bottom, but now I'm grown up I know how to make it properly.
Serves 6 to 8
Half a stale French stick
Butter or lemon curd
25g sugar (or less if using lemon curd)
750 ml semi-skimmed milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Handful of sultanas
Put the sultanas in a large glass ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over a little water to soften. Cut the bread into thin slices and spread each evenly with butter or curd. (Butter is traditional, but the curd tastes lovely.) Arrange the slices neatly in the dish.
Beat the eggs in a basin, then stir in milk and sugar. Pour through a sieve onto the bread (one of the secrets of avoiding uncooked eggy bits!). Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes - check that all the bread is soft, and push it gently into the milk mixture if necessary. Bake at gas mark 2 (150 ºC) for about 50 minutes, or until just browned and set in the centre.
Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.
Why stale bread? Well, it soaks the mixture up much better, and if you are like me, you do sometimes forget about a bit of loaf. French sticks have an open texture that works well, but ordinary white bread or ciabatta are OK too. (Anything that uses leftovers and store ingredients is a Good Thing, in my books.)
Try other preserves - jam or marmalade for instance, and a firm soft fruit instead of the sultanas: I tried plums with a little sugar sprinkled over, and I imagine blackcurrants would be nice too.