Sometimes we have to make do, and today was one of those times, it was also a time to be creative with what’s there rather than what’s missing.
In the freezer was a pack of white cobs (bread rolls, not horses) but when the bread defrosted it was unusable. Not wanting to throw it away I decided to make a good old-fashioned bread pudding. Not a bread and butter pudding, a bread pudding. I just needed some sultanas, or any dried fruit really, and a few other pantry staples. Unfortunately, and unusually, there was no dried fruit in the pantry. However, there was half a jar of mincemeat, left over from Christmas, and a small jar of an unusual jam that had been a gift from Scandinavia – apricot and carrot. These replaced the dried fruit.
Here's how to make a bread pudding.
The ingredients you will need are:
8oz (225g) bread, any colour, any condition, but not mouldy
2oz (50g) sugar – any kind
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
6 oz (175g) dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, mixed – any will do)
2oz (50g) melted margarine or butter (or 1oz/25g of each)
1 egg, beaten
extra sugar for topping
You will also need an 8 or 9 inch, greased, baking tin
In a large bowl, soak the bread in hot water or milk for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 C, gas 4, 350 F
Squeeze any excess liquid from the bread and place it into a clean bowl.
To the bread add the fruit, sugar and mixed spice. Mix well.
Add the melted margarine/butter and mix again.
Add the beaten egg, mix again.
Pour the bread mixture into your prepared tin and smooth it flat.
Bake for 80 minutes but check after an hour to avoid the pudding being burnt if your oven is fierce.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the pudding with sugar – any kind but Demerara is lovely.
Cut into nine portions, but it is very filling so you might want more, smaller portions.
You can eat the pudding hot or cold, with or without accompaniment (cream, custard, ice-cream).
Photographs and article: Karen Ette