by Angela Patel
This wholesome winter pudding is traditionally made with left over sliced bread but I like to make it extra special by using slices of sweet and buttery brioche instead.
The Cole & Mason Nutmeg Mill makes it easy to add that warming spicy flavour that goes so well with the creamy custard. Place the stylish looking mill on the table when you serve the pudding so everyone can add a little extra grind of spice if they like!
Kitchen tools needed: Cole & Mason Nutmeg Mill
Prep: 20 mins, plus 30 mins standing time
Cook: 45-50 mins
- 1 brioche loaf (approx. 400g)
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 ripe, but firm, pear, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 25g sweetened dried cranberries
- 600ml whole milk
- 150ml double cream
- 3 medium eggs
- 50g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra for sprinkling
- icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Cut the brioche loaf into 12 slices. Spread one side of each slice with a little of the softened butter. Cut each slice in half diagonally.
- Arrange half the buttered slices with half the pear slices in the base of a large ovenproof baking dish (you’ll need one with about 1.5 litre capacity). Scatter over half the cranberries and using the Cole & Mason Nutmeg Mill grind over a good sprinkling of nutmeg. Repeat the layers once more.
- Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs and sugar in a large jug. Slowly pour the mixture over the brioche slices. Press the slices down gently with a spatula to ensure they are nearly all soaked in the milk mixture. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan /Gas Mark 4.
- Place the baking dish in a large roasting tin and pour in enough just boiled water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Sprinkle over the extra sugar and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown in places and just set in the middle (see Tips). Serve lightly dusted with icing sugar and an extra grind of nutmeg, if liked.
Placing the baking dish inside a roasting tray filled with hot water will help to gently cook the custard, prevent it from curdling and give a smooth and velvety texture.
Take care not to over bake the pudding – the custard in the centre should still have a slight wobble – if the top begins to brown too much before the custard is set then cover loosely with foil for the last few minutes of baking time.
If you can’t find a brioche loaf then use individual brioche rolls instead – you’ll need about 8-10 depending on the size. Cut each roll in half lengthways.
Swap the pear slices and cranberries for apple and a handful of sultanas or raisins, if liked.