Old to You, New to Me
Bread and butter puddings. How many have you made? A few? Maybe a dozen? Well, apparently I’m way behind the rest of you because I’d never even heard of bread and butter puddings until just the other day when VegeYum mentioned them as one of the things she cooked when she was first starting out. I have, mind you, made bread puddings before, but they are decidedly different, or so it seems to me. For one thing, bread and butter puddings let you play with your food by cutting sandwiches into triangles. I always cut my sandwiches into triangles when the fillings allow so this was a real selling point for me.
From what I can gather, I guess bread and butter puddings are rather a staple in the U.K. and its former colonies. I wonder where it got lost along the way when the pilgrims came to these shores? Oh well, it doesn’t matter now. I’ve happily claimed any long lost bread and butter pudding heritage after making this Berry Bread and Butter Pudding.
I’ve still got a few jars of Sparkling Holiday Jam hanging out in my cupboards so I thought that would be a great flavor to use in my very first bread and butter pudding. I then decided I’d even go so far as to make the bread, using that old trusty stand-by, Miracle Bread. (I didn’t have to though as I remembed a loaf I had in the freezer still. Sweet!) I just wish I still had some of that fresh milk left from the ice cream I made last week. Store-bought worked just fine. Although, after considering the amount of butter going into this dish, I decided to use fat free milk and was please with how creamy the flavor was still.
I really loved this “pud” straight out of the oven, while it was still steamy and wafting with cinnamon and fruity smells. But I had some again (just now actually), chilled, and it was equally good, just quite different in nature. When it’s warm, you really get a distinct set of textures in your mouth: creamy softness from the bottom parts that turned almost to custard juxtapose against the crisp toasted points of bread that have a little extra crunch from the sugar. When it’s served cold, this pudding’s textures are more harmonious, but the fruity flavors are noticeably intensified.
I have a birthday coming up…shhh, for goodness sake, don’t tell anyone! I’m thinking about having some friends over for a casual meal and some good port wine. I think this bread and butter pudding would be an easy-crowd pleaser that could serve as a bridge between the savory dishes and the double chocolate fudgey birthday cake. It’ll be good evidence too that you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Berry Bread & Butter Pudding
Adapted from Cooksister
8 slices of white bread (this recipe for homemade works great)
½ stick of butter, softened
½ C. strawberry or other berry jam (this recipe for homemade works perfectly)
1 C. mixed dried cranberries, raisins, and blueberries
3 T. raw sugar (use light brown sugar if need be)
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 ½ C. fat free milk
Lightly grease a baking dish and set aside. Generously spread one side of each slice of bread with softened butter. Stack slices in pairs with buttered sides together. Generously spread the top side of each pair with jam and flip that slice over so the jam is sandwiched inside and the new top side is a buttered side. Repeat with all four “sandwiches”.
Cut sandwiches into quarters to create triangles and then shingle triangles, buttered side up/out, with the points facing upwards in the baking dish so they are evenly spread over the whole dish. Sprinkle mixed dried berries over the bread triangles and then dust evenly with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
Beat the eggs and whisk together with the milk. Pour evenly over the bread and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Allow contents of dish to sit for 15-20 minutes to soak up the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the bread pudding for about 45 minutes or until lightly set and golden brown. Serve warm or cold on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream.