Bread and butter pudding
Wasting food was something Nanas just couldn’t abide in the old days. Every scrap of food was used – when the bread was a bit stale it got used in bread and butter puddings. This recipe also makes use of prunes, which were a pantry staple in the old days. Prunes are dried plums which keep for ages on the shelf and can be used in puddings or served with porridge, but probably the most common use for them was as a laxative. Every nana knew that a teaspoon of syrup of prunes was just the ticket for a bout of constipation. I’ve included a very old recipe for syrup of prunes this week, in case you want to give it a go.
Prunes also work very well with chocolate, as in our bread and butter pudding recipe. And don’t worry if you have a family who don’t welcome the sight of prunes – they’ll never know they are in here as they break down and mix with the melted chocolate. I heartily recommend this recipe because it tastes amazing; it’s a permanent feature on the pudding menu in my home.
- Preheat oven to 190C. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and milk together.
- Butter both sides of the bread, crusts on, and cut into triangles.
- Grease a casserole dish or cake tin and line the base with your buttered bread triangles (you will use about half, butter more bread if you need to).
- Keep aside some of the chopped chocolate to sprinkle over the top later, then sprinkle the rest over the bread along with the prunes.
- Put the rest of the bread over the top and slowly pour the egg mixture over, allowing the bread to soak up the liquid. Give it a gentle push to make sure all the egg mixture has soaked right through.
- Sprinkle the top with extra brown sugar and the rest of the chocolate, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If you want to make this ahead, you can leave it to sit for longer until you are ready.
- Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until set.
Syrup of prunes:
Wash about seven prunes then cover with water and leave overnight. In the morning, simmer gently over a low heat for an hour or until the mixture is dark and fairly thick. Add more water if it starts to dry out. Strain through muslin or a sieve then bottle until needed.