Winter is here, and so are all the cravings for warm comfort food. Bread pudding is fantastic for satisfying that craving, and you get to use up some of the food you were about to throw out… just before it gets a life of its own, mind you!
I got my recipe out of the May 2009 Fresh Living magazine (Issue 15), and adapted it according to what we had available.
3 tbsp (45ml) butter, softened
8 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
2 overripe bananas, peeled and sliced
Pitted dates, cut into small pieces (original recipe calls for 1/4 pack PnP mixed soft jumbo raisins and sultanas)
3 large eggs
2 cups (500ml) milk
3/4 cup (190ml) castor sugar
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
Ground cinnamon to taste (original calls for freshly grated nutmeg to taste)
2 tbsp (30ml) brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Lightly grease a 1.5l ovenproof dish.
Butter bread on both sides and cut into quarters.
Lay bread pieces in the dish and scatter with bananas and dates.
Whisk the eggs with the milk, castor sugar and vanilla essence and pour over the bread evenly.
Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the custard is golden and set. (I baked the pudding with both the top and bottom elements on and let it cook for about 45 minutes until the bottom was slightly overcooked, dark brown and sticky. This makes it slightly toffee-like and chewy).
I could’ve even left the pudding in slighly longer to give it more of a caramelised edge. The dates were also deliciously chewy.
Serve with custard (ultramel in my case) or cream (as suggested in the original recipe).
As you may have noticed this made a huge dish of pudding (it is supposed to serve 6), far too much for the two of us to complete, even after 2 days! I would suggest halving or even quartering the recipe for 2 people.