I picked up a few food dislikes from my mum. Parsnips are one, and another two are rice pudding and bread & butter pudding. My mum never liked them and never served them, and in turn I grew to think I didn’t like them, either. Not helped by years of being served those very same puddings at school camps – the kind that fell into the gloop category.
So it happened that in now, in my thirties, I had never, ever cooked bread & butter pud. But that’s been remedied now as I’ve just pulled from the oven, and served to my two girls, a really rather delicious version of that British classic.
It all started with a bag of apples bought at Nosh today. Advertised as Granny Smith, they were in fact green cooking apples. So I needed to find ways of using them. One apple cake down and set aside for morning tea tomorrow, I searched for something for tonight’s pud. Having half a loaf of Loaf’s white sliced bread needing to be used, the recipe for bread & butter pud stood out from the pages of Little Kitchen by Sabrina Parrini. Yes, a kids’ cookbook. It’s full of damn good recipes, actually, and I’ve bookmarked a few more to try this week.
I adapted it a little. I didn’t use raisin bread, for one thing, I used plain white. And I added some orange flower water to give it a bit more resonance. And I can tell you, I’ll be making this again. Sorry Domain ducks, no more stale bread scraps for your lot…
Remove the crusts and slice 8-10 pieces white bread into quarters. Grease a baking dish – square would be best but I used oval) with butter and place half the bread on the base, overlapping slightly. Slice 1 large or 2 medium cooking apples very thinly and lay, overlapping, atop the bread. Sprinkle over 1 tsp cinnamon. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 3/4 cups whole milk with 2/3 cup raw sugar, 1/4 cup raisins and 2 Tbsp orange flower water until the sugar dissolves. In a small bowl, whisk 2 large eggs. Pour the whisked eggs slowly into the hot milk, stirring as you go. Pour half this mixture over the first bread and apple layer, distributing the raisins well. Top with the remaining bread, then egg/raisin mixture, and another 1 tsp cinnamon, sprinkled over. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 180 celsius. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream (in an unbreakable bowl, see below, for kids like mine!)