By: Matthew Bates
Meal Type: Dessert
Cook time: 40 Minutes
Bread and butter pudding is a classic English ‘nursery’ pudding made with simple ingredients. Here, I’ve given it a fresher, citrussy twist and loaded it with fresh blueberries!
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the split vanilla pod. Bring slowly to simmering point on the simmering plate (do not let it boil) and then set aside (next to the cooker is ideal) to infuse whilst you prepare the rest of the pudding.
- Butter each side of the bread and cut into triangles – you can remove the crusts if you prefer but I leave them on as I love the crispy edges!
- In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest and sugar. You will use approximately half the sugar for layering with the bread and half for the custard.
- Lightly butter the base and sides of a baking dish and cover the base with a layer of overlapping bread triangles. Sprinkle with some of the lemony sugar and a handful of blueberries. Add another layer of bread, sugar and blueberries and continue to layer until you finish with a layer of bread.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and then combine with the warm, infused milk (remove the vanilla pod!). Add most of the remaining sugar, reserving some for the top and whisk briefly to combine. Pour over the layered bread and leave to ‘steep’ for approximately 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, sprinkle the top with the remaining lemony sugar. In a 3 or 4 oven Aga range cooker – bake in the middle of baking oven for 30-40 minutes until slightly golden on top. In a 2 oven Aga range cooker – bake on a grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven, with the cold shelf on the second runners for 30 minutes, until the custard is just set and the top golden brown.
Tips for use with Aga range cookers...
- *If you can’t wait for your bread to stale (!), lay out slices on a baking tray and sit them on top of the lids (protected with a chef’s pad). Within 15 minutes, the bread will dry out. The bread will soak up the mixture better if not fresh.
- If you find the top of the pudding isn’t as bronzed as you would like, move it up to the top of the roasting oven and ‘grill’ for a couple of minutes. Sugar burns easily though so do keep a careful eye!
- For a more traditional bread and butter pudding, swap the blueberries for raisins or sultanas and sprinkle the top with demarara sugar.
- Spread the bread with marmalade for an orange twist.
- Substitute some of the milk for double cream for a luxurious twist.
- Try different kinds of bread – brioche, hot cross buns or pains au chocolat.