Bread and butter pudding – valentine style

This is the best bread and butter pudding you will ever taste- guaranteed! Even if you think you don't like B&B pudding, you will love this. I usually serve this as a tower for dinner parties and do something clever with a purée, so as valentine's day was approaching I used my heart shaped cutter.

The quantities given make a really large pudding- great for a buffet table. You can easily halve the quantities, that wound still serve 8. The deep ceramic dish I cook it in 25cmx40cm (10″x16″)
The recipe is based on one by John Sharpe whose Route 66 restaurant at La Posada in Wnslow, Arizona is a real treat, in what can be a bit of a culinary desert (as well as a real desert!)
The secret with this recipe is just to add what works for you. John uses prickly pear syrup to finish off his- well not many prickly pears in guernsey and certainly none of the syrup in waitrose. I make my custard in my thermomix, if you are making it in a pan then take care to stir well and don't burn. The full quantity asks for a litre each of milk and cream so you will need to make the base amount in the thermomix and just add the extra cream to the smooth very thick custard .

Cook Thermomix custards at 80° speed 4, after adding the eggs, sugar, vanilla bean, milk and double cream. Refer to your everyday cookbook if you haven't made it before.

You will need:

  • 5 large eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 30ml vanilla extract (or less vanilla bean paste)
  • Scant litre of milk and scant litre of double cream (heavy) – I know it's a lot but that's why it's so wonderful.

You are going to make your custard with the ingredients above.

In your casserole mix the rest of your ingredients:

Diced bread – if making the full quota you will need one brioche and one fruit loaf or two brioche. I love to use one M&S fruit loaf.

250g butter, diced

The rest of the ingredients really are up to you, I love dried cherries, sultanas, and nuts – 1 cup of each would be good. I love john's original recipe because of the addition of pine nuts, and I hadn't thought to add these to B&B pudding. Add about half a cup and the result is wonderful. If you like chocolate in B&B then add that- my family refuse to call it proper B&B if it has chocolate in it. Mix all these ingredients and then pour your rich warm custard over.

I like Mary Berry's advice to let stand for 30minutes before baking at 325°/160°C or baking oven of aga for for around 45 minutes.

If you are going to cut out into shapes don't try to do this while it is hot. Ideally you should prepare the night before, refrigerate, then use your cutter and transfer to a baking tray. Before serving heat.

You can of course cook in the metal shape from the start, especially if you are making half of the mixture.

I served this with a rhubarb purée.



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