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April 22, 2010

You do all know that a browniegirl has to have a brownieboy in the mix don’t you? Now that Autumn is here and the weather is turning chilly and wet it is time to haul out the casserole dishes, the large saucepans for soup and to stock up on root vegetables…..but not always 🙂 This is also the ideal time to start baking all those delightfully warm and comforting puddings, redolent of  carefree childhood days when the aromas wafting out the kitchen window reached you down at the bottom of the garden where you were up to your armpits in long lush grass and mud, copying your mum in the kitchen and baking mud pies!! We would take a deep appreciative breath and skip into the house where we would make a beeline for the bathroom, before our mum could see how dirty we were, and wash up quickly because we knew that those rich spicy notes wafting out of the open oven door on the breeze heralded the start of dinner.

My brownieboy loves bread and butter pudding and I love making it for him. The last time I made it for him I pimped my regular recipe a bit as I had some delicious medjool dates that my friend in Morocco had sent me. I paired those with some pistachio nuts and lemon rind. A perfect finish for that trio of tastes is cinnamon…….absolutely the best bread and butter pud I have ever made…..I think it is time that I make it again don’t you?

Bread & Butter Pudding with Dates & Pistachios

Bread & Butter Pudding with Dates & Pistachios


(originally blogged here )

Serves 4 – 6

8 medium slices of white bread

50g Butter, softened

1 Lemon – finely grated zest only

5 Extra large Free Range Eggs, yolks only

100g Castor Sugar

1 vanilla pod or a few drops of vanilla extract

100ml Milk

200ml Cream

Handful Medjool Dates – chopped

Few Pistachios – roughly chopped 

Ground Cinnamon

Castor Sugar for caramelizing to finish off

This is how I make it:

Preheat the oven to 200degC & Butter a medium sized casserole dish.

1. Mix the butter, a sprinkling of cinnamon & the lemon rind together.

2. Butter the bread, remove the crusts and cut in quarters diagonally, creating triangles.

3. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl

4. Split the vanilla pod, if using,  scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife & place in a saucepan with the milk, cream & sugar or add the vanilla extract.

5. Bring the milk to a simmer, while stirring to dissolve the sugar, then pour onto the egg yolks, whisking all the time. You now have the custard.

6. Arrange the bread in layers in the prepared basin, sprinkling the dates & pistachios between the layers. Finish with a final layer of bread without any fruit on top as this tends to burn.

7. Sprinkle the top with a light dusting of cinnamon.

8. Pour the custard mixture over the bread, press the bread gently into the custard mixture and then leave to soak for about 15 minutes. This allows the bread to take on a new texture and have the custard flavours all the way through the pudding

9. Once the bread has been soaked, place the casserole dish into a larger dish or pan (I use my big oven roasting pan) place it onto the half pulled out middle rack of the oven and half fill the bigger pan with boiling water from the kettle. This is called a bain marie or water bath. Lightly cover with buttered aluminum foil then push the rack into the oven and close the door.

10. Bake for about 20 minutes then remove the foil top and bake a further 10 minutes or so until the pudding begins to set but looks a bit wobbly in the centre. Because you are only using egg yolks, the mixture cooks like a fresh custard and only thickens; it should not become too firm.

11. When ready, remove from the oven and water bath, sprinkle the pudding liberally with caster sugar, and either caramelize under the grill for a minute or two or use a chef’s  blow torch if you have one. As the sugar dissolves and caramelizes you will find that the corners of the bread start to burn a little. This gives a delightful bittersweet taste to the otherwise sweet dish.

Bread & Butter Pudding after caramelizing

The more traditional method of making this is to butter the bread then spread lightly with some apricot jam, add raisins or sultanas between the slices of bread then pour on the custard (omitting the dates, pistachios & lemon zest) Both methods are delicious and in fact if you have an aversion to raisins you can leave them out completely. Ring the changes to the flavor with raspberry or other berry preserves on the bread.  You can use any type of bread for this – brioche, buttery croissants, raisin bread all work well too.  If you use a sweet bread with jam I would suggest cutting down on the sugar a little bit as it can become tooth achingly sweet!

Allow to cool slightly before serving it with a big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. I love the combination of hot and cold in my mouth…makes my tongue dance a  happy little jig 🙂


Colleen xx

14 Comments leave one →
  1. sideview permalink
    April 22, 2010 7:33 PM

    yum yum (just leave the dates out for me)

    • April 23, 2010 12:39 AM

      Let me know when you are coming over Sidey. I will make one specially for you without any dates I promise :o) xx

  2. whippingitup permalink
    April 23, 2010 12:13 AM

    Thank you BrownieGirl, this is just what I needed tonight! Although I went for the apricot jam and raisin option due to ingredients at hand. Delish! So glad there are some leftovers for breakfast tomorrow. Sleep tight x L

    • April 23, 2010 12:41 AM

      Im so glad you enjoyed it so much L, the left overs are very good the next day. Those flavors will develop a bit more overnight :o) You sleep well too xx

  3. April 23, 2010 5:26 AM

    BG, I keep on forgetting to come and find you here! This pudding does bad things to me BG. It causes my mouth to tingle, my knees wobble and my stomach to growl grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    • April 23, 2010 6:19 PM

      Hey Nina, good to see you here my friend. Thank you for the visit and comment. This is a yum pudding for sure…xx

  4. Sharon permalink
    April 23, 2010 11:52 AM

    Still looks wonderful and comfy food… Have a fabulous weekend doll!! xxxx

  5. April 23, 2010 12:19 PM

    Colleen yours is the first South African blog I have read. I have just read Jeanne’s post on your conference. Congratulations on organising such a successful event.

    Your bread and butter putting looks wonderful. It is one of my favourite puddings. I have never made it without egg whites so I will need to try your recipe.

    I’m off to browse your blog.

    • April 23, 2010 6:25 PM

      Welcome to my humble new abode Barbara. I have been a lurker many times on your wonderful blog. There are some fabulous SA blogs out there. I hope you find them :o) Thank you so much for your lovely comment and the congratulations. Great encouragement indeed. It was a great event and very successful. I have lots to think about and try to improve for next year hehe. This pud without egg whites has the texture of a baked custard/creme brulee style pudding. I have done it with and without and this is my definite favorite. Not too much to see here on my new blog yet. I will import some posts as and when I can. Hugs xx

  6. April 23, 2010 1:37 PM

    Must confess I’m not a fan of breadpudding, but the dates & nuts you’ve added sounds divine.

    • April 23, 2010 6:26 PM

      Hi Marisa, you should just give this method a try…just once. I’m hoping it might convert you :o) xx

  7. Phillip Bowman permalink
    April 23, 2010 4:54 PM

    Dearest Brownie Girl, B&B Pud looks DEVINE “par excelance’. Sadly B&B and writer never hit it off. Your tale of carefree childhood evokes days never to return. What is the ultimate, knock em dead, addictive flapjack reci? You know – those round golden stepping stones dripping in butter and Maple on a white ceramic for b’fast??? Scuse me I must clean my keyboard, am salivating over Ctrl, someting I have lost just now. love P

    • April 23, 2010 6:30 PM

      Hey Phil so good to see you here. Hmmmmm, gotta find some way of making you and this pud hit if off hehe. I will email you the flapjack recipe that I have asap. I’m assuming you want it for this weekend? You have me wiping drool off my keyboard too now, just from your description. Im getting the visuals here HAHA! Love to you too xx

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