It's not often that I buy a $6 loaf of bread. Only when desperate and no other options are available. Now if that loaf of bread is only half eaten and stale two days later, it certainly will get used! I know of no tastier way of using stale bread than in a delicious bread pudding.
Having watched the animated movie "Ratatouille" for the umpteenth time again recently, I was reminded of tastes that take you back to your childhood. Home-made bread pudding does that for me. Just the first spoonful transported me back to my childhood home, my mum in the kitchen whisking eggs and vanilla essence in her oval Pyrex bowl and the sweet fragrant smells wafting through the kitchen. I'm so glad that I can recreate those feelings with this pudding.
There is no exact science to making a bread pudding. It really does depend on the size of the slices of bread, the consistency of the bread and your personal taste. I like a moist bread pudding, with a tropical taste and not too sweet. Just like my mother used to make. It may never turn out exactly the same twice though.
In this pudding I've used dessicated coconut, almonds and dried mixed fruit (my mum used to use dried cut mixed peel). Eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla essence are the other basic ingredients.
I like it best served warm with soothing custard. Aaah... the taste of home!
You will need:
a few slices or half a loaf of stale white bread (2 days old or more)5
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of dried mixed fruit
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Remove the crust and cut the bread into blocks (approximately 1cm x 1 cm squares). Soak in the milk for about 30 minutes to one hour.
Beat the eggs and sugar till creamy and then add vanilla essence. Combine this with the soaked bread. Then add the dried fruit, coconut and almonds and pour into a greased pyrex or ovenproof dish.
Dot pieces of the butter evenly into the mixture.
Place in the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees (fan-assisted oven) for about 45 minutes to one hour till golden brown and just set. Eat warm.
As mentioned earlier this recipe can be changed according to your personal tastes. Lessen the quantity of milk used if you'd like the pudding to be less moist. Enjoy!