Like chocolate fondant, bread and butter pudding is something that can be whipped up from things likely to be lurking in the kitchen. If you’re only doing dinner for two, it’s easier to do in individual ramekins.
(For reference, my ramekins are 4cm deep, and 150mL in capacity.)
For each person you will need:
- one egg
- 20g caster sugar (maybe a touch more if you have a sweet tooth)
- a teaspoon of marmalade
- 60mL milk (i.e. egg:milk ratio is 1:1)
- approximately two slices of white bread, a day or two old, crusts cut off
The best way to do this is to place the slices of bread upright in the ramekins, and curled around into a spiral. So, cut the slices of bread into strips whose width is about one centimetre less than the internal height of your ramekins.
Generously butter all the strips of bread on one side, and put marmalade on half of them. We only want a hint of orange, so go easy on the marmalade. Place the butter-only strips, buttered side out, around the edge of the ramekins, and then roll up the marmaladed strips and pop them in the middle. We want to pack the ramekins reasonably tightly.
Lightly whisk the eggs, milk and sugar together, and pour over each ramekin. Start by pouring in enough to cover the bread, that is, come up to a centimetre short of the rims. At this point, you’ll have plenty of egg/milk mixture left over, but don’t worry, just pop it to one side.
Let the ramekins sit for at least half an hour at room temperature, for the egg/milk mix to soak into the bread.
Get the oven going at 180ºC, and pop a baking sheet in the middle to warm up.
After half an hour, you’ll see that the liquid level in the ramekins has dropped, as it has been absorbed, so now top up with the rest of the mix.
Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, put the ramekins on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The bread will puff up alarmingly, and the custard will seethe, but shouldn’t escape. Retrieve once the tops are nicely browned.
- just use the egg yolk, maybe more than one per person, for a richer texture
- add a smidgeon of nutmeg or cinnamon
- add a teaspoon of currants and/or peel
- add a teaspoon of mincemeat if it’s Christmas and you have some handy
- do it with torn up pieces of brioche (idea pinched from Martin Dibben)
- maybe add a small amount of chocolate
- Ed reckons blueberries or cranberries are good