I simply cannot resist a good bread pudding. So, despite the fact that I was thinking about doing something a bit more creative for Sam & Monkey Gland‘s What’s for Pud? English Tea Party for St. George’s Day, I had a big beautiful two day old loaf of Como bread sitting in my kitchen that was going to go to waste if I didn’t do something about it. Bread pudding was in order.
I usually use some fleshy fruit… peaches or apricots in my bread pudding, but I found this ginger-preserve recipe in Nigella Bites, and decided to give it a go. The ginger adds a wonderful tang to the otherwise creamy and mild dessert.
Of course, there were the usual changes… I was using a crusty loaf rather than brown bread, I had white rum on hand instead of dark, and I inverted the cream and milk measurements to keep it a bit on the lighter side (not that any dish with nearly a cup of cream could be considered light). I also decided to skimp on the eggs a bit and just use fewer whole eggs instead of more just yolks. I have to say, the original recipe must be a heart attack in a bowl, because even with the changes, the pudding was incredibly dense and rich… oh, and absolutely delicious.
Happy St. George’s Day!
Ginger Bread and Butter Pudding
(Adapted from Nigella Bites, page 166)
3 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup raisins
3 T Rum
10 slices of bread
5 T ginger preserves
3 large eggs
3 T cane sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 cup skim milk
1 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
2 T brown sugar
a few thin slices of lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small bowl, add the raisins and rum. Microwave for about 30 seconds, and set aside.
Mix the sugar, ginger and cinnamon and set aside.
Butter a large ramekin with some of the butter.
Cover half of the pieces of bread with ginger, and the other half with butter. Layer it on a bit thick for best results. Now, make a stack with the bread, alternating between ginger pieces and butter pieces. Slice the whole stack into quarters.
Arrange them, alternating crust up and crust down, in the ramekin. Mash them in tightly, and then press down on the whole lot of them to make some room on top. Pour the raisins and rum over the bread.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar. When light and frothy, pour in the cream and milk. Then, pour this whole mixture over the bread. If it doesn’t quite fit, wait a minute or so, and add a bit more. Then, let it rest for about 10 minutes. Coat any crusts that are not submerged with a bit more butter, and sprinkle the ginger, cinnamon sugar mixture over the top, and top with the lemon slices.
Bake for about 45 minutes ,or until well puffed. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
I topped mine with a fresh raspberry sauce (literally mashed up raspberries). Nigella recommends serving with an egg custard.