Pecans and raisins bread and butter pudding

Some weeks ago, I enrolled a course to become an independent art curator (exciting!). It’s keeping me very busy, with classes all Saturdays and research and homework during the week. I’m loving it. And, bizarrely (or not), because I have less free time, I organise it way better! As a result, I have been cooking and baking much more than previously.

Last Sunday, for example, our dear friends visited us one last time before moving out of London and down to the seaside. These two like their food so we wanted to make something extra special for them. Special but unfussy – some honest, homemade, no-nonsense winter comfort food. So I made my pecan and raisins bread & butter pudding!

Now, I say *MY* bread & butter pudding and this is not entirely true. I actually based it on a recipe from Lucy’s Food recipe book and adapted it to our taste. The original recipe has dried apricot and an apricot coulis, but I like my bread & butter pudding a little bit more traditional.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 12 slices of brioche
  • 60 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature (spreading cold butter on brioche proved nearly impossible and extremely frustrating for short-tempered me 🙂 )
  • 60 grams of pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 60 grams of raisins
  • 150 ml of double cream
  • 150 ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 30 grams of caster sugar
  • 30 grams of cane sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • fresh nutmeg, or cinnamon, or cardamon to taste.

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to 190C (gas mark 5).
  • Spread the brioche slices with butter.
  • Layer into an ovenproof dish with the pecans and raisins.
  • In a bowl, mix the cream, milk, eggs, caster sugar and grate a little fresh nutmeg. Depending on the mood and season, you can also add a little cinnamon and cardamon to the eggy cream mixture.
  • Pour the mixture over the brioche.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the cane sugar.
  • Bake in the oven for 40-45 min, or until the pudding has puffed up and the eggs are cooked through (you can check with a knife)

Serve warm with a little double cream.

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Yes, it’s that easy and that tasty!

I like this recipe because I find the brioche makes it a little bit less stodgy than regular bread and butter pudding, and the crunchy pecans give the pudding a nice contrast of textures. I wouldn’t go as far as to pretend it is a light pudding, but definitely lighter than bread and butter puddings I have had before! 😀

Tomato Basil Bread Pudding with Mozzarella

I recently discovered Lattes and Leggings and it has quickly become one of my favourite food blogs. Please check it out and enjoy 1) the amazingly inventive heathy recipes 2) the great photographs.

In particular, I had come across Jen’s ‘Tomato Basil Bread Pudding With Mozzarella‘ and thought it sounded like a perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday evening. This weekend’s high temperatures meant we spent most of our time sunbathing, gardening and wishing we had a swimming pool in the small garden of our Victorian conversion flat and I didn’t  feel like standing by a hot stove and oven for too long. It was therefore the perfect time for me to try it.

I am not going to re-write the recipe here, because Jen’s is just perfect. I did adapt it a little bit to our tastes and ingredients (like, I believe, you should never hesitate to do with other people’s recipes):

  • I used ‘regular’ tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes because that’s what I had in the kitchen; and since they were ripe and very tasty I don’t think it made much difference. Obviously, I cut them in 4 instead of halves.
  • I used white loaf instead of sourdough bread, because it was stale and I find there’s nothing better than stale bread to soak up yummy tomato juices and olive oil.
  • Finally, because I’m not familiar with American cups, and because I was too lazy to convert them, I did it all “au pif et a l’oeil” – which in French means “with my nose and eye”, I’m sure you know what I mean. The recipe is so simple and instinctive that with basic judgement it worked perfectly well.

Verdict: Delicious, easy, lazy, summery recipe. Highly recommended. Served with a fresh salad, it’s just the perfect combination of simple and tasty.

Tomato Basil Bread Pudding with Mozzarella

Tomato basil mozzarella bread pudding

Summer lights in London

Sit back and enjoy the summer farniente.