Bread Pudding. An old wartime favourite in a period when nothing would ever go to waste.
In our bookcase, there is an old faded hardbound notebook compiled by my great-grandmother in 1936 called “Anna Lendrums Cookery Book”. She wrote the recipes in longhand using dark blue ink. They were collected from acquaintances near and far (mostly puddings and jams from local sources around Angus, Scotland, and a few surprising recipes from Spain, Rome, Paris, and India.) Inscribed in the front cover, she says she first wrote them down in 1891 and copied them in 1895, 1934 and 1936 respectively. Sometimes the copies were given as a gift. On the first page, there’s a note that reads “Where butter is said, margarine is meant as this is a post-war edition!”
So I thought it would be nice to share a similar recipe, especially as it seems in keeping with the current times.
Tip: I suppose they had chickens running around the backyard delivering eggs daily. But at a pinch, cornstarch seemed to be a good substitute! Plus it’s vegan. Try serving warm with custard.
2 tablespoons sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping
1 teaspoon cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar topping
6-8 slices day-old bread (enough to fill two layers in your cake tin)
2-3 tablespoons butter or plant-based margarine
300 ml (1¼ cups) milk, any kind
2 eggs or; 2 tablespoons cornstarch plus 100 ml (⅓ cup) extra milk, any kind
120 g (½ cup) raw cane sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons raisins
- Preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
- Line the middle of a 25 cm (10”) cake tin with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to lift the bread pudding out later. Grease the exposed edges of the tin to prevent sticking.
- Make the cinnamon sugar by combining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
- Butter the bread slices on one side then cut them into about 5 cm (2”) squares.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and eggs, or cornstarch and extra milk. Add the raisins.
- Without breaking the bread squares, toss them through the wet ingredients. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly. Gently press down with a potato masher so that the wet ingredients soak evenly into the bread.
- Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden, and the top springs back when pressed.