27 May 2007


Mary Norwak in her book English Puddings, Sweet & Savoury, tells us that this pudding has been popular for more than two hundred years and appears in many eighteenth-century cookery books. As with all old recipes, there are many variations.
Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver lace their bread and butter pudding with Bailey's cream liquer, Gary Rhodes uses eight egg yolks and ½ pint of double cream. There are now recipes for chocolate bread and butter pudding. All of these variations have helped to re-invent the bread and butter pudding, by modernising this old nursery favourite.
On a personal level, I have been scarred for life, by being given badly made bread and butter pudding. The most common faults are the custard separating and currants having been placed on top of the bread and these have burnt during cooking. they then resemble rabbit droppings!!
This particular recipe, whilst not entirely traditional, is a good everyday bread and butter pudding, and one that even I will eat. On a light hearted note, if you look at the photograph of the slice of bread and butter pudding, you will see that there appears to be only three currants. I assure you that there were others and that these were hidden amongst the layers of bread and custard. I think this is possibly called uneven distribution!!
For this recipe you will need medium sliced bread that is about two days old. It is important to use full cream milk and also butter to spread on the bread, otherwise it's really not worthwhile making as it will taste just the same as the one put before you when you were a child and we don't want that - do we!!!

I have slightly adapted the recipe from the original.


ISBN 0600601986 - Page 501

SERVES: 4 (but I'm afraid to say, mostly 2)

40g soft butter
4 slices of medium sliced white bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon of apricot jam
50g sultanas, raisins or currants
450ml full cream milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
2. Grease a 1.2 litre ovenproof serving dish with some butter.
3. Butter the bread and spread with the apricot jam. Cut the slices into small triangles. Layer 8 triangles of bread in the dish, sprinkle with the fruit, top with the other 8 triangles of bread.
4. Place the milk and sugar in a saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs. Strain the mixture over the bread and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
5. Place the dish in a roasting tin and fill with hot water to halfway up the sides, bake in the oven for 45 minutes, increase the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 for a further 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden on top and just set. Serve at once.