As a child, one of my earliest memories was going to my Great Granddad’s on a Saturday lunchtime. My Great Gran and Granddad lived in a ground floor flat, and as soon as we walked up the path, you could smell the lovely aroma of freshly cooked bread pudding…usually still warm as we walked through the door! Sometimes we would have it on it’s own, sometimes it would be served with warm custard. We were always given some to take home to eat cold too.
Now when you look at bread pudding, you might think that it looks like a stodgy fruit cake, and you would be forgiven! But don’t let it’s appearance put you off! I don’t like fruit cake, but I LOVE bread pudding.
Traditionally, this was a wartime recipe that used up old bread to save it being wasted, and although sometimes I buy bread, I would much rather make it using stale bread as it gives a much better outcome.
For several years I have tried to find a recipe that could replicate the one of my great granddads – some used suet, some used egg and milk, others used water but none of them could compare to the taste of the one that I was used to as a child. So you can imagine how happy I was, when talking to another family member one day, who told me that they had a copy of the original recipe! My copy of the recipe is one from a note book where only the key ingredients and main points of the method are written down, so I will try and give a little more detail.
So here it is…….in my opinion THE best bread pudding recipe ever! It is a very dark coloured pudding infused with warm spices and plenty of fruit!
6-8 slices of bread (preferably stale)
100g sugar (I prefer light brown)
200g mixed fruit
2 tsp mixed spice
Soak the bread in water. Once soggy, squeeze the water out – I do this by hand as i find that it helps to break the bread up.
Cream together the fat and sugar.
Add the egg a little at a time to avoid curdling and mix.
Put in al lof the mixed fruit and spice, and mix well.
Add in the bread and mix until smooth.
Place into a greased and lined tin (this is the difficult bit, it took me ages to find the right size tin, but I found that a 24cm by 20 cm tin that is approx 4cm deep worked best).
Put into the oven at 160c (take down to 150c for a fan oven) or Gas Mark 2, and cook for approximately one and a half hours. It will be firm on top, but still soft. The pudding will not firm up until it has called!
Once it has cooled, transfer to a cooling rack (if it lasts that long – my family are already cutting chunks out of it while it is still warm!) and leave to cool completely. Then slice into portions and store in an airtight container I like to keep mine in the fridge!
If you fancy a change, I also add glace cherries and dried apricots for a luxurious fruity taste!
Why not have a go yourself and et me know what you think?