Growing up a real treat for us was my mum's bread pudding - done in the slow cooker, we'd come home to the fug of cinammon and nutmeg and know that pudding was on the menu. I realise now it was mainly a thrifty way to use up stale bread, but in my head it was manna from heaven. Really one of my favourite things. I've never made it as there's no 'real' recipe for it, more a kind of - well we do this until it looks a bit like this... which isn't helpful for you or I.
A couple of weeks back the people at Pasquier brioche asked if I'd like to have a go at trying some of their brioche and creating a recipe with it. Bread pudding was the obvious choice (well, obvious to me) I just needed the time and my wonderfully velcro baby to let me have some time in the kitchen.
The interweb is awash with recipes for bread and butter pudding, yet bread pudding seems to be a less common bake - maybe the fact that it's unfashionably retro - has none of the twee appeal of other more traditional bakes, or the fact that it is a dense pudding. I'm not sure I still love it.
Making the pudding with brioche made for a much lighter texture, and adding cooking apple from the garden cut through the sweetness. Otherwise it's a fairly traditional recipe that I've worked up.
Brioche and apple pudding
500g (1 loaf) brioche - whizzed into breadcrumbs in the processor or chopped up roughly by hand
500g dried fruit - I used a mix of sultanas and currants as that's what we had. You could use anything you have to hand.
100g cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated
1.5 tablespoons sweet mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinammon
1/2 nutmeg grated
1 pint milk
2 eggs, beaten
140g soft brown sugar
100g melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons demerera sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, and butter and line a square, deep dish cake tin (I use the one I use for brownies and similar)
In a big mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs, dried fruit, grated apple, spices and sugar.
Mix the milk and eggs together
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and using your hands make sure that everything is really well mushed up
Leave to stand and soak for half an hour or so (it doesn't matter if you leave it for longer)
Melt the butter and pour over the ingredients. Make sure it's well combined.
Pour into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for and hour and a half, covered with tin foil. 30 minutes before the end remove the foil.
Serve warm with ice cream, custard or cream. Or leave to cool and have in a packed lunch.
Thanks to Pasquier for sending me the brioche - the rolls were excellent sustenance for the 10am feeds!