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Nigella's Grandmother's Ginger-Jam
Bread and Butter Pudding



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.~ Nigella Lawson

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My Grandmother’s Ginger-Jam Bread
and Butter Pudding

Nigella Bites:
From Family Meals
to Elegant Dinners --
Easy, Delectable Recipes
for Any Occasion

© Nigella Lawson 2002, Hyperion

“This recipe comes from my maternal grandmother’s recipe folder, a
wonderfully retro piece of design, circa late sixties, early seventies.
Bread and butter pudding has, I know, gone from stodgy disparage--
ment to fashionable rehabilitation and back to not-that-again cliché-
dom, but I am not prepared to let any of that bother me.
This version uses brown bread rather than white, and between the
buttery sandwiches is heaped chunky-hot ginger jam, sometimes sold
as ginger marmalade, but most usually, if quaintly, as ginger conserve;
on top is sprinkled Demerara sugar mixed with aromatically warm
ground ginger, the spice of the old-fashioned English kitchen.
My grandmother, more austerely, used milk; I go for mostly cream:
nothing creates so well that tender-bellied swell of softly set custard.”

Serves 6

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum
10 slices brown bread
Approximately 10 tablespoons ginger
conserve or marmalade
4 egg yolks
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons Demerara or
granulated brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a pudding dish or shallow baking dish with a capacity of about
1 1/2 quarts with some of the butter.
Put the raisins in a small bowl, pour the rum over and microwave them
for 1 minute, then leave them to stand. This is a good way to soak them quickly but juicily.
Make sandwiches with the brown bread, butter and ginger jam (2 tablespoonfuls in each sandwich); you should have some butter left over
to smear on the top later. Now cut the sandwiches in half into triangles
and arrange them evenly along the middle of the dish. I put one in the
dish with the point of the sandwich upward then one with flat side upper- most, then with point side uppermost and so on, then squeeze a sandwich triangle down each side – but you do as you please. Sprinkle over the
raisins and unabsorbed rum that remains in the bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks and egg together with the sugar, and pour in the
cream and milk. Pour this over the triangles of bread and leave them
to soak up the liquid for about 10 minutes, by which time the pudding
is ready to go into the oven. Smear the bread crusts that are poking
out of the custard with the soft butter, mix the ground ginger and
Demerara sugar together and sprinkle this mixture on your buttered
crusts and then lightly over the rest of the pudding.
Place the pudding dish on a baking sheet and put in the oven to cook
for about 45 minutes or until the custard has set and puffed up slightly.
Remove, let sit for 10 minutes – by which time the puffiness will have
deflated somewhat – and spoon out into bowls, putting a pitcher of
custard, should you so wish, on the table to be served alongside.


“If you are going to eat this sort of pudding, it can’t hurt to know how to
make the custard to go with it. It is useful to know that you need 1 egg
yolk for each 1/2 cup of milk or cream. It’s harder to be precise about
the sugar, which depends on your taste, what you’re eating the custard
with and whether it’s going to be hot or cold.””

Serves 4

1 vanilla bean or
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups light cream or
5 large egg yolks
1 generous tablespoon sugar

Half-fill the sink with cold water.
If you’ve got a vanilla bean, cut it lengthwise so that the seeds will be
released, and heat it in a pan with the cream till nearly boiling. Take off
the heat, cover and leave to steep for 20 minutes. If you’re not using a
bean, put the cream and vanilla extract on the heat, and beat the egg
yolks and sugar together in a bowl. When the cream’s warm, pour it
over the sweet yolks, beating all the while. Pour the uncooked custard
back into the rinsed-out and dried pan and cook over a medium heat,
stirring constantly, until the custard’s thickened. Ten minutes should
do it, unless you’re being very timorous and leaving the flame too low.
When the custard’s thickened, plunge the pan into the cold water in the
sink and whisk it for a minute or so. You can eat it straight away, or
if you want to make it in advance, reheat later in a bowl over a pan of
simmering water.

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