Do you ever get a craving for some food from your childhood?
Today I felt the need for a comforting bread and butter pudding like my Mum used to make. She used to prepare it with no fuss, no recipe and no fanfare. Just whisk up the custardy mix in a jug and pour it over the stale buttered bread. She rarely used scales, just tablespoons. Things were much more freestyle then. It still always puffed up beautifully with a crusty sugary top and a light, wobbly inside.
My Mum always loved a pudding. We think it’s from living through rationing after the war. It’s a love that has stayed with her and pudding is still her favourite thing. Throughout my childhood we had chickens at the end of the garden, so she saw anything that used up a few eggs as a bonus.
As with all traditional milky puddings I used to find it very moreish.
I still do.
I have been witnessed wedging a large serving spoonful of leftover pudding into my mouth whilst standing at the fridge. I can polish off a whole pint of rice pudding if I set my mind to it.
So this recipe of sorts has not been fiddled with or added to. I tell a lie: This time I made it with leftover brioche.
I cooked, styled and photographed a food shoot last week and due to lots of recipe testing I ended up with many little brioche rolls going spare and going stale. It does give it an extra richness, but any slightly stale bread will do.
Oh, and I do add a bit of cream because, well, there’s cream and the fridge; it would be a crime not to use it.
Regular readers will know that I prefer sultanas to mixed fruit – Currants and candied peel are my kryptonite.
I toyed with adding chocolate chips, or marmalade or any number of random things to sex up the recipe, but no. This is how I remember it so this is how it stays.
Josie’s Bread & Butter Pudding
Don’t get hung up on the quantities – go with what you fancy or what you have
Several slices of bread or brioche – enough to fill a baking pan
75g sultanas or other dried fruit
approximately 80g softened butter (whatever it takes!)
450ml of milk – approximately
2 tblsp/75g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
Pour boiling water on the dried fruit to plump it up for a few minutes
Spread the bread slices with the butter and overlap them in a shallow baking dish
Strain the fruit and sprinkle/wedge it between the slices of bread
Put the cream in a jug and fill up to the 1pt level with milk
Whisk in the eggs, yolk, vanilla and sugar
Pour this mix over the bread and butter
Sprinkle with some cinnamon and nutmeg
Cover with cling film and press down the bread so that it’s all coated
Leave to ‘soak’ for an hour or so…or overnight
Sprinkle with brown sugar
Bake at 175ºc for around 40 minutes until it puffs up in the middle and is mostly set
If it browns too fast cover loosely with foil
Eat warm with cream – or cold from the fridge.