Bread and butter pudding is a dish to make on days when you need a break from challenging flavours. Bland it isn’t, mind. The apple adds a tart twist to the warm cinnamon, the crunchy caramel of the demerara sugar and the slightly salty, eggy bread. Each bite might be crunchy, chewy or tender. The making itself is profoundly soothing, as long as you give yourself a little time. Taking the crusts off slices of bread, then spreading them with softened butter, is maddening if you are in a rush, meditative if you are not. Now chop the apple, whisk the eggs and cream, and you are ready to build the pudding, layering the different ingredients in little stacks. And still it won’t be ready to go into the oven until it has had half an hour to rest. The result is well worth the patience: golden, delicious and somehow irreverent looking.
apple, bread and butter pudding
12 thinnish slices of good bread, a little stale for preference
90 gr butter, softened
2 tbsps sugar
300 ml milk
150 ml cream
pinch of salt – 2 if you are using unsalted butter
generous pinch of cinnamon
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp butter melted
1 tbsp demerara sugar
pinch of grated nutmeg
Take the crusts of the bread with scissors or a sharp knife and spread each slice with a little butter. Now cut the slices in half.
Beat the eggs with the 2 tbsps of sugar, the cinnamon and salt, and add the milk and cream.
Now stack the pieces of bread in a dish about 25 by 30 cm, leaving room for the apple. Do this side by side rather than on top of each other – see the photos.
Stuff the apple pieces in between.
Pour over the eggy mixture and let sit for half an hour for the bread to absorb it.
Sprinkle with the melted butter, concentrating on the bits of bread that are sticking out of the top of the dish, the demerara sugar and the nutmeg.
Bake at 180 degrees C for about half an hour until golden brown.