5 Jan 2012

Brioche and Butter Pudding

A while back, I started the National Collection of Bread and Butter Pudding Recipes:) and to date, there are six other recipes on my site. Admittedly, some people find them problematic, but the secret is to make them well, and definitely not to have the obligatory burnt fruit on top (perhaps as some of our Mum's did), to do so is not only a crime against bread and butter pudding but a punishment of the highest order for the person who has to eat it.

This recipe is by the talented food writer, Tamasin Day-Lewis. The sultanas have been soaked in water and then drained, which prevents them from burning. It's always best to cook any bread and butter pudding recipe in a bain-marie because this will prevent it overcooking and take the humble bread and butter pudding to another level of fabulousness. Bread and butter pudding cooked to within an inch of it's life is horrible and years ago, before I learnt the error of my ways, I too have been guilty of this. I always check to make sure the pudding isn't overcooking by poking a hole in the top - as in the photograph. The custard will carry on cooking after it comes out of the oven and you will have a creamy custard sauce.

I have adapted the quantity of sugar used and the amount of apricot jam glaze. If I hadn't, the pudding would have been sugar overload. Presentation would have been better if I had used the tops of eight brioche rolls instead of using four brioche rolls sliced horizontally.

Adapted recipe for those on the 'No diet, diet' and to be fair I did use semi-skimmed milk and reduced the quantity of sugar. Who wants to diet in January anyway? I need proper food when it's cold, grey and miserable outside.

Serves: 4

You will need: 300ml semi-skimmed milk, 300 double cream, 1 split vanilla pod, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp vanilla sugar, 25g unsalted butter, 4 brioche rolls sliced horizontally into four, a handful of sultanas soaked in warm water until plump, few teaspoons apricot jam.

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 4.
2. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod with the tip of a knife. Add to the pan along with the scraped pod. Bring almost to the boil and then remove the pan from the heat.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour in the milk and cream mixture, firstly removing the vanilla pod, and whisk.
4. Melt the butter and brush it over the brioche slices, placing them into a greased pudding dish. Sprinkle with the sultanas.
5. Strain the milk and egg mixture over the top.
6. Place the dish in a roasting pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set and not over-browned.
7. Put the jam in a basin and add a teaspoon of water, melt gently in the microwave.
8. Brush generously over the eggy surface of the pudding.

Any pudding left over will heat up successfully in the microwave.