I don’t make many cakes or desserts or slices because we would just eat them. But once or twice in the winter I make bread and butter pudding. In recent years I made it just for Him because I didn’t like the gluten free version and I couldn’t eat the wheat version. But now that I am able to eat my own sourdough spelt bread, I thought it was high time to revisit this favourite of ours.
It is a comfort food that goes waaaay back to the days when people could ill afford the many sweet treats we now lavish upon ourselves, often to detriment. Historians have traced it back to the 11th and 12th centuries in England, then called ‘poor man’s pudding’. My husband would disagree with the idea that good bread and butter pudding is anything but the highest culinary accomplishment, be it for rich or poor man. He goes to his ‘happy place’ when I make this bread and butter pudding. Such is his euphoria, he seems to struggle to find enough ways to express his joy, each complement greater than the last. This time he declared “You could feed this to anyone and they would love it”. Well, of course that’s not true, there are plenty of people who won’t or can’t eat something like this. But if you can, and will, I recommend it.
Ardys’s Bread and Butter Pudding
8 thick, or 10 thin slices good, but stale, bread (I use my homemade spelt sourdough here)
Approx. 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened to room temp., or spreadable consistency
Approx. 1/3 C sultanas (raisins)
Approx. 1/2 C apricot jam
2 C whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla essence (extract)
1/2 C sugar
Butter all slices of bread on both sides. Then spread the apricot jam on one side only of each slice. Butter sides and bottom of a deep casserole (about 2 quart). Place one layer of bread into bottom, sprinkle with 1/2 the sultanas. Place another layer of buttered bread on top and repeat the layering. Add a third layer of buttered/jam bread for the final layer.
Mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar, stirring well to combine, then pour over the bread layers. Let this sit for 45 minutes or longer, during which time you can weight the bread down into the liquid, or press it down with the back of a spoon a few times. Make sure all edges are soaked so they don’t burn when baking. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 185 C, (375 F). Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden on top and knife comes out clean when inserted into centre of pudding. Serve warm topped with more milk, cream or ice cream, or enjoy on its own.
(The recipe can also be found under the heading of Breads/Baked Goods)