Bread and Butter Pudding from 1898 to 2013

Bread and butter custard pudding

Bread and butter custard pudding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Title Page of "Beeton's Book of Household...

Title Page of “Beeton’s Book of Household Management” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Xmas is over and there are lots of left-overs in  my fridge – as I am sure there are in yours, so I decided that I needed to use up the stale bread- of which there were a couple of packs of brioche part used that seemed ripe for using up first.

Now I don’t need a recipe for this as this is one I know by heart and anyway it varies in the content depending on what is around at the time. I know that some of the chefs use brioche so here’s my version…

  1. So take the left-over brioche – I had 4; slice each half into at least 3 – 4 if you can; and put half into a long or square tin – approx 7 inches by 7.
  2. Scatter half the dried fruit over – I used a fruit cake mix with currants, sultanas, raising and mixed peel;
  3. Add some sugar – or sugar light or honey or agave syrup – (this is my best new find –  zero WW points I think and very healthy!) or any other sugar substitute you like but not too much as brioche are already sweetened;
  4. Repeat the layers;
  5. Make a custard with 1 egg and 1 pint of milk and left over single cream – no sugar – whisk well and strain to remove the egg ‘lumps’ – I don’t know exactly what they are called but there are always some small bits of egg that don’t  whisk;
  6. Pour the custard over;
  7. Bake at around 160 -180 C fan for around 25 minutes checking to see if the top has crisped up and the custard is set.

Serves at least 4-6 depending on appetite.

Note on agave syrup: produced from several species of agave, including Agave tequilana (blue agave) and Agave salmiana.[ Agave nectar is sweeter than honey and tends to be less viscous. Most agave nectar comes from Mexico and South Africa.

Agave nectar consists primarily of fructose and glucose and has the same impact on blood sugar as fructose with a low GI and dissolves quickly. I  have taken to using it instead of honey for baking crumbles etc whereas in the past I would have used thin honey or or maple syrup.

Then I got out my new acquisition – a Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management with coloured plates printed and published in 1889. It has a number on the front plate – four hundred and 81st thousand which may be the actual printing number of the book – otherwise why put it there? It is not in excellent condition – the book’s cover is falling apart and the coloured plates are loose as are some of the index pages, but the remainder of the book is fine , if yellowed.

I looked up Bread and Butter pudding and so here is her recipe:

Recipe 1736 page 825

  • 9 thin slices of buttered bread
  • 1.5 pints milk
  • 4 eggs
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/4 lb currants
  • vanilla essence (nb she doesn’t specify which type here – you could use vanilla flavoured sugar or pure vanilla pods or the pure essence – don’t use anuything that isn’t ‘real’ vanilla as it has a nasty sub taste)
  • grated lemon peel or nutmeg
  1. Layer the items
  2. Whisk eggs and milk
  3. Strain custard over layers
  4. Bake moderate oven for 1 hour.

Add cream or candied peel to increase the variety and flavour

Bake 2 hours before serving (which I had done); and serve in its dish.

Serves 6-8 and cost 11d. (!!!)

She comments that you should use BUTTER and not anything else for this and certainly it enhances the flavour.

So I then looked up Brioche, and indeed there is a recipe for it – 2461 – on page 1113, where she suggests that it can be used to form a base for a custard… hmm now just what was my recipe for bread and butter pudding again?

I shall keep looking up ‘new’ recipes and comparing them to hers as I think it is fascinating to see just what things cost and how they were made some hundred plus years ago, and it is so detailed in this book.


2 thoughts on “Bread and Butter Pudding from 1898 to 2013

  1. Jen Gardener

    Yum! I’ve been meaning to try using agave syrup. I haven’t managed to find any yet but I also haven’t looked all that hard. Sounds like you think it’s a winner, so I must put in the extra effort! Your bread and butter pud looks amazing!


    1. ukgardenfiend Post author

      It was lovely and very tasty.. I have found that our supermarkets are now stocking it, so it must be coming more main-stream – but it will depend on where you live I guess – I live in London and we can get most things…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s