Usually on a Friday I post a list of Friday Night Dinner Ideas, but today’s post has been hijacked by this delectable strawberry bread & butter pudding. I’m entering it into this month’s Sweet Adventure’s Blog Hop which is hosted by the lovely Christina at The Hungry Australian.
I’ve been speaking to Christina a lot the past month or so, as she is co-hosting the Eat.Drink.Blog conference in Adelaide, that I will be speaking at in November (if you are going, be sure to come and say Hi! to me). Christina is also a co-founder of the Sweet Adventures blog hop, where each month a theme is chosen and food bloggers cook a sweet dish to match it.
I’ve watched the blog hop from the sidelines since its inception, but have always been too busy to participate or have simply forgotten the deadline date for entries. Not this month though – our stars have aligned!
I read the theme of this month’s hop: berries, right after a trip to the farmers markets where I purchased the most perfect punnet of new season strawberries. Surely it was a sign?
After scoffing the majority of them ‘au naturale’, I was left with only a handful to make a recipe. In my frugal panic, I surveyed the kitchen for inspiration, and found half a loaf of almost stale bread. Light bulb moment!
I removed the crusts* (see note at bottom of recipe), buttered the bread and popped them into a buttered baking dish. Sliced up the strawberries and tucked them in between the bread slices. Knocked up a quick custard and poured it over. Waited an agonising 30 minutes for the bread to soak up the luscious custard (essential step to ensure the pudding is light as a feather). Baked it, then brushed with warmed strawberry jam.
Hubby thought it was the best afternoon tea he’d ever had! Then we had more after dinner. Oh dear. Somebody push me onto the exercise bike.
There’s still two portions left in the fridge as I type this and I’m using all my self control not to go and sneak some… nope, still here and typing.
I was actually quite amazed at how delicious the strawberries taste when roasted. The flavour really intensifies and sweetens, and the juices ooze out and into the bread and custard, staining them pink in parts. It’s really pretty.
If you have a few leftover strawberries I urge you to try this now at the ‘limbo’ time between seasons. Even though the days are getting warmer, the nights are still chilly and you can just get away with such a warming and carb-centred dessert. Just make sure you have a light Friday night dinner beforehand (may I suggest soup?).
Can you eat a whole punnet of strawberries in one go? And have you tried roasting them before?
Strawberry bread & butter pudding
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 slices thick white bread, crusts removed*
- 100g strawberries (about 6 or 7 medium ones)
- 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 110g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
- 375ml (1 1/2 cups) thickened cream
- 80ml (1/3 cup) milk
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste/extract
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1. Grease a 2L baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Butter the slices of bread with the remaining butter. Slice the bread in half on the diagonal to make two triangles and layer all the bread into the baking dish in two rows, slightly overlapping, with the buttered side facing up. Tuck the strawberry slices in between each layer.
2. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Place the cream, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until scalding point – do not let it boil. Pour into the bowl with the eggs and whisk furiously to combine. Carefully pour the mixture over the bread slices, being careful not to move them out of place. Leave to sit for 30 minutes. This step is important to ensure the final pudding is light, not stodgy.
4. Heat the oven to 180C/350F. Cover the baking dish loosely with foil and place into a deep roasting tray. Fill with water to come half way up the sides of the baking dish. Put into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
5. Meanwhile, place the jam into a small saucepan with a splash of water and heat over medium, stirring constantly, to loosen. When hot, brush over the top of the pudding (I use a silicon pastry brush for this) and then serve the pudding immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge, it can also be eaten cold.
*FRUGAL TIP: Don’t throw the crusts away! Blitz them up in a food processor to make bread crumbs. Keep in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you need them.
Looking for more berry recipes? Check these out: