Bread and butter puds were a big part of my childhood. My grandmothers made them (and very competitive they were too, bless them) and my Mum made them. I loved bread and butter puddings with a passion – the combination of sweet jam, plumped up dried fruit and eggy custard were wonderful. I’m still a bread and butter pudding fan, however I tend to play around with the original concept somewhat these days. My family’s new favourite bread and butter pudding is a savoury version that is shown below.
Bread and butter pudding is an ideal concept for using up bread that has gone slightly stale; no matter how good your planning, there will occasionally pop up a situation or two where your bread is past-its-best-by. The reality is that bread that is past-its-best-by is in fact the best for these recipes.
Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding ‘Margherita’
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
The following quantities will serve four (with leftovers)
- 6 slices of day-old bread
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 200g ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 2-3 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves, washed and then finely shredded
- 4 eggs
- 150ml cream
- 1 clove garlic, finely crushed
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 180°C/375°F. Spray an ovenproof dish with non-stick cooking spray (this makes the washing up easier).
Butter the slices of bread on one side only and then cut each of the slices diagonally into four triangles. Cover the base of the ovenproof dish with overlapping triangles from three of the slices of bread (12 triangles in all), butter side down and the points of the triangles pointing up.
Slip half of the tomato and mozzarella slices randomly in between the triangles of bread. Sprinkle with half of the basil and season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Place the remaining triangles of bread, butter side up, over the bottom layer. Once more, slip tomato and mozzarella slices between the triangles of bread. Sprinkle with the remaining basil and, again, season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a jug, whisk together the cream, eggs, garlic and oregano. Carefully and gently, pour the cream mixture over the bread triangles in the ovenproof dish. Place the dish on a baking tray and pop the lot into your preheated oven.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the filling has set and its top is turning golden brown.
Sweet Bread and Butter Pudding
Preparation time: 10 minutes or so
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes
The following quantities will serve four, maybe with some leftovers (but perhaps don’t count on it!)
Variations are the name of the game with sweet bread and butter puddings. Different jams and conserves, different types of dried fruit, adding a splash of alcohol or liqueur, or not, different types of bread, etc, are some of the things you can play around with.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 6 slices of bread
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp jam of your choice
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (your choice)
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar (or ordinary sugar is fine too)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/375°F. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla until well-combined. If you are adding extra flavouring, such as a little alcohol, add that to the egg mixture at this point.
Butter and jam the bread and then cut the slices into four triangles. Arrange half the jammy triangles, jam side up, on the base of your baking dish. Sprinkle the dried fruit over the layer of triangles. Now arrange the remaining jammy triangles over the fruit. Arrange the triangles so they are point up. This will give a nice crunchy texture to parts of the bread that will contrast with the creaminess of the custardy base.
Pour the egg mixture (eggnog) carefully and gently over the bread triangles. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top of the bread and butter pudding. Place the baking dish onto a tray and then pop them both into your preheated oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pudding is set and the top is golden.
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #538, June 2015.