Thursday, 17 October 2013

Apple bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding
Let be honest, bread and butter pudding is a pretty great thing. It's warming, has custard and is ridiculously versatile - what's not to like? From substituting bread for croissants or brioche, flavouring the custard with coffee or chocolate and adding juicy liquor-soaked raisins, there's something for everyone. So for autumn, why not use up the glut of apples you bought for £1.50? This buttery, fruity recipe is meltingly delicious and perfect for those chilly autumn afternoons.

Buttered bread

bread* - I used rosemary and potato bread
butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
150 ml double cream
100ml milk - you're using double cream and butter, so you might as well have full-fat**
100g sugar
2 apples, cored, peeled and evenly sliced
a big handful of raisins
dried apple, diced
more double cream, to taste
*it's best to use bread which is a couple of days old because it holds it shape hence not becoming soggy. As the Berry says, you don't want a soggy bottom...
**it's important to build up fat to insulate for the winter

The first layer
Soak the raisins overnight in the cognac. Before using, pat the raisins dry to get rid of excess moisture, and set the rest of the cognac aside for later.
Spread the sliced bread generously with butter. Unless you're dairy intolerant, there are no reasons why you should compromise and use margarine.

Jam-packed full of raisins
In a buttered and sugared tin**, layer the buttered bread with thickly sliced apples and raisins, similar to a dauphinoise. Repeat this until your baking tin is about three quarters full.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until your mixture has doubled in volume and become paler.

Heat the cream in a saucepan until it begins to bubble.
When the cream begins bubbling, take it off the heat and add the milk to it.
Once it has cooled down a bit, strain into the yolk/sugar mixture, whisking the whole time.◇◇

Sprinkling with sugar gives a brilliant toffee taste when cooked
When your baking tin is stuffed to the brim, liberally pour over with your custard.
Place in a preheated oven on 200C and bake for fifty-five minutes. When you take the pudding out, it should have puffed up and become golden and firm.
For the sauce, use the ratio of 1 part cognac to 2 parts cream.
In a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, reduce the cognac until you have a thick glaze.
Add dried the dried apple and double cream to your reduced alcohol and on a low heat, let it cook for half a minute, and take off the heat.

I would suggest that you don't put raisins on top, because they will catc,. And burn.

Sprinkle the pudding with caster sugar and scorch with a blowtorch or grill for a crème brûlée touch.

Serve with lashings of sauce and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

**Butter the tin as you would normally, then sprinkle sugar over. Shake out excess sugar so you have a fine sprinkling on all sides. This helps to caramelise the pudding, and adds to the toffee-apple taste.
◇◇ If your custard becomes scrambled eggs die to the cream being too hot or not whisking enough, strain the mixture through a sieve.


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