Bread & Butter Pudding – The poor mans pudding

Many years ago I was fortunate enough to take a master class with Marcus Moore when he was Executive Chef at Melbourne’s Sofital where he was awarded Three Chef Hats for Le Restaurant. Marcus had completed his formal training at The Dorchester Hotel in London under the tutelage of Michelin Star chef Anton Mosimann. I spoke with Marcus about his time at the Dorchester with particular interest surrounding Anton Mosimann’s signature dish, Bread and Butter Pudding. I grew up with Bread and Butter Pudding and was impressed that such a humble dessert could become one of the world’s great chef’s signature dishes.

The origins of Bread and Butter Pudding date back to the English Middle Ages. Frugal cooks of the 11th and 12th century looked for ways to make use of stale bread so that it would not go to waste. Back then, bread would be soaked in hot water, squeezed dry and sugar and spices added. In these times it was called “poor mans pudding.”

After the 13th century, cooks began to to use eggs, milk and a type of fat, and it become more commonly known as “Bread and Butter Pudding.”

There have been numerous variations of this humble dessert. The addition of raisins or apple, the use of brown sugar or maple syrup. Some include, chocolate, nuts, candied citrus peel, and all manner of sweet spices. There are even savoury versions using cheese and bacon.

Nothing I like more than a good ol’ fashioned Bread and Butter Pudding for dessert after a Sunday Roast. I love the soft and spongy texture with a rich, creamy custard with juicy sultanas soaked in sherry. It also works served cold for breakfast!

Bread & Butter Pudding

Ingredients
  • Loaf of toast sliced bread (not fresh)
  • Butter
  • 600ml Cream
  • 400ml Milk
  • 6 Large eggs
  • ½ cup Caster sugar
  • Vanilla Bean (1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste)
  • 1 cup Sultana’s
  • 60ml Sweet Sherry
  • 1 cup Apricot preserve
  • ½ cup Cointreau
Method

1. Add sultana’s and sherry to bowl, allow to soak for at least an hour

2. Add one whole egg and five yokes to mixing bowl, add sugar and whisk till lite and creamed.

3. Add cream, milk and vanilla bean/paste to saucepan, bring to simmer. Scrape out vanilla pod.

4. Slowly pour tempered cream into egg mix, gently whisking to combine, to make custard.

5. Layer baking dish with one layer of sliced bread, buttered on both sides, pour over enough custard to cover. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle half of the sultana’s over the bread layer.

6. Add another layer of bread buttered on one side, buttered side up. Pour over enough custard to cover. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining sultana’s over the bread layer.

7. Add another layer of bread buttered on one side, buttered side up. Pour remaining custard over bread. (This may have to be done in batches to allow custard to soak into bread)

8. Add water to a second larger baking dish to form a bain marie, place pudding on wire rack in bain marie. Place in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C. (350 degrees F.) for half-hour until bread starts to brown.

9. Add apricot preserve and Cointreau to saucepan. Whisk over low heat until texture is syrupy.

10. To serve, cut into squares and drizzle apricot glaze over pudding.

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