Bread & Butter Pudding with Pedro Ximénez Sherry
Most countries have their version of bread and butter pudding because no one wants to waste leftover bread. This is the old favourite with a Spanish kick, laced with some fantastic Pedro Ximénez sherry and a whiff of cinnamon and orange. It’s good enough to get the vicar round for tea.
- 100g raisins
- 100ml Pedro Ximénez or very sweet sherry
- butter, for spreading and greasing
- 6 slices of brioche or plain panettone
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 350ml whole milk
- 150ml double cream
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
Put the raisins in a small saucepan and cover them with the sherry. Heat gently until the sherry is almost at boiling point, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the raisins to cool. They should absorb most of the sherry and plump up nicely. Strain the raisins, making sure you reserve any juices.
Generously butter a 1.5 litre oven dish. Butter the slices of brioche or panettone and cut each slice into 4 triangles. Arrange a layer of the bread, butter-side up, in the oven dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the raisins over the bread, then add most of the orange zest and cinnamon – you’ll find it’s easiest to grate the zest directly over the pudding. Arrange the remaining bread slices over the top, butter-side up again.
Gently beat the eggs with the sugar – you don’t want them aerated, just well combined. Gradually stir in the milk and double cream, then add any reserved juices from the raisins. Strain the mixture into a jug, then pour it over the bread and raisins. Do this very slowly, giving the egg mixture time to soak into the bread so it doesn’t dislodge and float out of place.
Sprinkle over the remaining raisins. Combine the rest of the zest and cinnamon with the demerara sugar and sprinkle this over the pudding. Leave the pudding to stand for about 20 minutes to allow the custard to soak into the bread. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Bake the pudding for 35–40 minutes, until the top layer of bread is crisp and a rich caramelised brown in places.