Bread and Butter Pudding

For those unfamiliar with this delectable British dessert, think of this as French toast baked in the oven with loads of sweet, jiggly custard. Traditionally, it’s made with orange marmalade — but I have replaced that with apricot jam, which is more to my taste. Whichever one you use, this dessert will be true comfort food.
Serves 8


575 ml low-fat milk
575 ml single cream
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Softened unsalted butter
8 slices good-quality white bread, crusts intact
Jar of apricot jam (as smooth as possible — no bits)
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
200g sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Put the milk, cream, and vanilla in a saucepan. Set over low heat and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, butter the slices of bread. Spread the jam liberally on four slices and top with the others to make four sandwiches. Cut them across to make triangles and arrange in a generously buttered baking pan, slightly overlapping the triangles.

Beat the eggs and yolks with the sugar in a bowl until they form a smooth foaming mixture. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture slowly onto the eggs, stirring constantly with a whisk, and continue whisking to make a smooth custard. Ladle this carefully over the bread and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160C/320F. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pudding pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and jiggles when shaken.

Serve warm, or refrigerate overnight and serve very cold. In both cases, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Blueberries or raspberries go well with this.

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