I’ve never had bread pudding before. As far as I can tell it comes in two varieties: the one where you layer up bread with raisins and butter, and this sort, where you tear the bread into pieces and cook it in a custard. I guess I’ll have to try the other sort for a proper comparison but I found this one really rather satisfying. Bread is always seen as a savoury item, in my mind anyway, which can’t be right since it goes just as nicely with marmalade or honey or chocolate spread if that’s your thing as with cheese or pâté. It takes on the sweet role very well here, but also provides some kind of substance to the dessert; instead of a whimsical collection of tastes and calories in a rather flimsy custard, you end up with a filling dessert, the sort you feel you could walk all through the night on, a good accompaniment to a lighter main (er, unless of course you’re having a lighter main because you *want* a light meal. Ho hum.)
To my dismay the whisky doesn’t really come through as strongly as I’d hoped in this recipe; I think perhaps some of the alcohol burns off in the oven. Shame. you could try adding more but it may interfere with the setting of the custard.
1/2 stick (60g) butter
Half a day-old loaf of bread, chopped into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
300ml single cream
200g pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons whisky
1. Put the butter in a 8×8 baking dish and put this in the centre of the oven, while the oven preheats to 170 C for a few minutes.
2. Remove the dish from the oven, put all the bread in it and with a fork toss the bread cubes in the butter, so all the pieces are lightly coated.
3. In a bowl whisk together the cream, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, spices and whisky and pour over the bread cubes in the dish. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until set.
Makes 9 servings of the size seen above, which is enough to feel full but not stuffed after a reasonable sized meal. Keeps for 3 days in the fridge with no real change in texture.