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Friday, March 20, 2015

An Old-Fashioned British Pudding

I'm talking about a dessert and not myself! Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. A born and bred Brit with no plans to move elsewhere. When I saw the topic for this month, I was pretty stumped. British food has absorbed so many dishes from other countries that in a poll done a year or two ago the top British dish was chicken tikka masala (although last year it got knocked down to number 14 with the good old British roast dinner coming in first place). But I decided to go with a personal favourite and something really traditional - bread pudding.

I know, I know. The name doesn't exactly sound all that dessert-like or tasty. But like a lot of old fashioned types of British food, it's thick, sweet and stodgy, designed to fill the stomach cheaply. And you can easily vary it by using different types of bread, including brioche (chocolate brioche especially makes for a decadent version) or by using different fruits, spices, and/or any other kind of additions you fancy. The idea was to use up possibly stale bread that some households couldn't afford to just throw away.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time 15 minutes
You will need:
250g bread (any kind will do, but you could try using chocolate brioche or fruit loaf. A better quality bread will give you a better dessert but it's not essential.)
125g dried fruit like currants, raisins, sultanas, and/or mixed peel, or you could try a tropical mix or chocolate chips - anything, really.
65g suet (this is an English speciality, a very dense fat made from beef or mutton fat, in case it's not a familiar thing in the US)
65g sugar (caster (fine sugar) is best, but I like some golden or demerara sugar to sprinkle on the top for serving)
1 medium egg
A teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg, or mixed spice

Cooking time approx 1 hour
Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Rip the bread into pieces and leave soaking in water until soft. Then squeeze the bread dry and mix in with the fruit, fat, sugar and spices.
Mix in the egg. If it's too dry, you can add some milk. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish.
Bake for about an hour until the top is be nicely browned and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin, then turn out and sprinkle liberally with caster or brown sugar.
If you can't wait for it to cool, turn it out straight away and serve with custard, cream or ice-cream, and a nice cup of tea!



And while you're waiting for it to cook, you can borrow one of my short stories from Amazon's Kindle Unlimited to keep you distracted!

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Or all my titles are 25% off at my publisher's site for the whole of March.

Tethered | Restless In Peaceville | When Dark Falls | No Angel
Not subtle, I know, but you'll need something to keep you occupied while you wait for your first taste of that dessert (or to read while you eat). :) I hope you enjoy it!

3 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

I come from a long line of English immigrants. My numerous times ancestor, Edward Rawson, from Gillingham, traveled on the second boat from England to the colonies. Your recipe looks pretty familiar. My mom, grandmother and various aunts made it - usually adding raisins or currents and lots of cinnamon. I'm not much of a cook these days but a warm bowl of bread pudding with cream sounds decadently delicious.

Hmmm, I wonder how it would taste using lemon zest for the flavoring and then adding a dab of lemon curd on top?

Pippa Jay said...

Mmm, lemon sounds like a great addition!

Diana McCollum said...

Sounds absolutely delicious! I have a similar recipe from my husband's Grandma. Our local grocery store bakery makes bread pudding, but it is not near as good as home made. I love the way you wrote your recipe. I could definitely tell you are British. Good luck on sales.