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Bread and Butter Pudding with Currants

Bread and Butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding with Currants

Bread and Butter pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries’ cuisine, including that of Ireland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Malta, Argentina, Louisiana Creole, and the southern United States. In other languages, its name is a translation of “bread pudding” or even just “pudding”, for example “pudín” or “budín” in Spanish; also in Spanish another name is “migas” (crumbs).

There is no fixed recipe, but it is usually made using stale (usually left-over) bread, and some combination of ingredients like milk, egg, suet, sugar or syrup, dried fruit, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace or vanilla. The bread is soaked in the liquids, mixed with the other ingredients, and baked.

It may be served with a sweet sauce of some sort, such as whiskey sauce, rum sauce, or caramel sauce, but is typically sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm in squares or slices. In Canada it is often made with maple syrup. In Malaysia, bread pudding is eaten with custard sauce. In Hong Kong, China, bread pudding is usually served with vanilla cream dressing.

This recipe for “Bread and Butter Pudding” comes from Maria Eliza Ketleby Rundell’s  A New System of Domestic Cookery, 1814, and features currants in a starring role.


The following recipe is reprinted with permission from “Table for 2…or More”

Butter Bread Pudding
(serves 1-2, depends on who much one can eat)
Few slices of French loaf, about ¼ of a stick
Some butter softened for spreading
150ml milk
75ml whipping cream
1 egg
Few drops vanilla extract
3 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp currants or raisins

1. Spread butter over bread slices. Oh please be generous.
2. Arrange bread slices into a lightly buttered baking dish.
3. Sprinkle raisins or currants over.
4. Combine milk, whipping cream, vanilla and egg.
5. Pour ¾ of it over arranged bread. Sprinkle sugar over bread.
6. Let the bread soak for few minutes before pouring the rest of the egg mixture.
7. Bake in a preheated oven of 160C in a waterbath  for 40-45 minutes  or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread soak and soak, then pour the balance of the custard in.

Wendy lives in Malaysia where she enjoys cooking  for her husband and two young daughters, sharing the recipes she creates, like this one for bread and butter pudding, on her blog, Table for 2…or more:

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Gooseberry Cheese

We began pease on Sunday, but our gatherings are very small, not at all like the gathering in the “Lady of the Lake.” Yesterday I had the agreeable surprise of finding several scarlet strawberries quite ripe; had you been at home, this would have been a pleasure lost. There are more gooseberries and fewer currants than I thought at first. We must buy currants for our wine.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
June 6, 1811

In his treatise on period fruits, Mark Harris writes, “Gooseberries (Ribes reticulata) and currants (Ribes nigrum and Ribes rubrum) are better known today in Europe than in tne US. As they grew wild in the cooler northern temperate zone of Europe but were somewhat sour, they were late to cultivation, and largely unknown in the warmer Mediterranean regions. The gooseberry was first cultivated in England by Edward I from 1276 A.D. where it was grown as a dessert berry (188), though it has never become widely popular in France and the low countries except as a sauce for fish (189). Gooseberries are most often green, but also occur in white, yellow, red and purple varieties.”

With the proper amount of sugar, these tart fruits can be made into any number of delightful desserts.

Gooseberry Cheese
Take some green gooseberries, put them in a jar, set it in boiling water, till they are soft. Then rub them through a seive, and to every lb. of pulp add a lb. of sugar. Let it boil two minutes, if it boil longer it will spoil the colour.
Good luck to your jamming.
Mrs. Craven, from Martha Lloyd’s Household book

Gooseberry Jam
1 lb Gooseberries
3/4 lb Sugar

Stem gooseberries and wash carefully. Drain. Add sugar. Heat very slowly in a covered container until juice begins to form. Uncover and boil until juice sheets from spoon.

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