By Andrea Pavee
Having discovered a new brand of delicious beef burgers, I overbought hamburger buns last week. Not wanting to waste the buns which were nearing their expiry date, a lightning strike of an idea occurred, and I decided to make bread and butter pudding instead.
When I was a child, Mum’s bread and butter pudding was our ultimate comfort food. Little did I know, it was her way to keep food from wasting. My brother and I had many happy, and yummy memories over her pudding, drenched in custard. We could never get enough.
Today, the bread and butter pudding, although still around, has been overshadowed by a riot of other desserts. But this oh so humble dish is a wonderful way to keep from tossing out old bread. Plus, it is so easy to make that you can whip it up in a flash.
While bread and butter pudding can be eaten on its own, custard makes a wonderful accompaniment to the treat.
At home, Mum used to make Bird’s Eye custard to accompany her bread and butter pudding. On festive occasions, like Christmas, she would lace the custard generously with a spoonful of brandy. If you are pressed for time, good grocery stores sell ready-made custard for purchase.
Vanilla sauce or ice cream also goes well with bread and butter pudding. Plus, they pair well with other desserts like apple pie, pear tart, pecan pie, or hazelnut pie.
Generally, the ideal bread for your pudding would be bread made from wheat. You can use white, whole meal or even sweetbreads. Steer clear of artisanal breads or loaves made with ingredients other than wheat flour such as multigrain loaves.
I always use raisins for my pudding but you are free to opt for sultanas instead.
Also, since I use salted butter at home, I do not add in salt into my egg and cream mixture. If you use unsalted butter at home, just be sure to add in ½ teaspoon of salt to temper the sweetness of the sugar.
Additionally, for the jam, I only use St. Dalfour’s since it does not contain any added sugar.
Bread pudding has to be served within the dish you bake it in since it adheres very well to its surface. If you are expecting guests, choosing the right dish would go a long way in making a mouth-watering presentation.
If you prefer, you can also bake your pudding in bigger sized paper muffin cups. When serving, dollop a spoonful of thick custard on top of the pudding and place a maraschino cherry to top it off.
Voila! Dessert is served!
Bread and Butter Pudding
8 cups of stale bread
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
½ cup of nibbed or sliced almonds (optional)
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, you can opt out of this addition)
¼ cup + 2 additional tablespoons butter (melted but kept separately)
1 teaspoon Apricot or Strawberry jam
Icing sugar for dusting
Mix 1/4 cup melted butter, eggs, sugar, milk and cream together with a whisk. When combined, add in the ground cinnamon and vanilla. Continue whisking. Do not worry if the cinnamon does not dissolve, it will when it bakes, infusing the spice throughout the dish. Add in the salt, if necessary.
Once the ingredients are mixed, stir in the raisin and almonds. The mixture will be watery, but do not worry as it will thicken when baking.
Slice your bread into thick chunks and place in a baking dish. Pour the liquid over the bread and leave to soak for about 5 minutes. Make sure the bread is thoroughly saturated before placing your dish in the oven so that the bread does not burn. You may need to press down on the bread to make sure it absorbs the egg and cream mixture well.
Bake between 150 – 180 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done. To check doneness, make sure that all the liquid has thickened. If so, insert a skewer into the dish. When it comes out clean, your pudding is done.
Glaze your finished pudding with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter mixed with a teaspoon of either apricot or strawberry jam. Dust over with a fine powdering of icing sugar. Serve either with custard, vanilla sauce or vanilla ice cream.
If you are watching your sugar, you can leave off the jam and icing sugar.
Bread and butter pudding can be served either piping hot or fridge cold.
Andrea has become a regular contributor to HomeBlog by HomSkil. We have been keeping her busy, and we hope her family is happy with all the dishes and desserts she has been whipping up every week. A mother’s recipe goes a long way. Mum’s recipes are often the family legacy.
Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 16 April 2021