Monday, 21 June 2010

Indian style bread and butter pudding

So I have to credit my father for the evolution of this dish. As a child I remember him making a bread and butter pudding that involved gently frying slices of white bread in butter and reducing down pints of cream with cardamom and sugar, before the whole thing was sprinkled with raisins and put in the oven. What emerged was a dense, sweet mess, and and ever since then I have found regular bread and butter puddings too dry, bland or 'eggy'. I don't think he's cooked that dish for about fifteen years but the memory must remain strong as it's the first thing I thought of when a large amount of panettone was unexpectedly presented to me some months ago.
The richness of panettone makes it an excellent substitute for plain white bread, and it even comes with it's own complement of dried fruit in it so no need to add them either. The recipe below is slightly cobbled together from what I happened to have in the fridge, but the proportions of cream and milk can be increased if you want.

Recipe (enough for 6)

Around 500g panettone, sliced
250ml double cream
250ml milk (ideally whole but I used semi-skimmed)
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed to release the seeds
1 bay leaf
Around 50g butter
Around 3 tblsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk

Gently heat the milk and cream with the cardamom, bay leaf and initially 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Have a taste and then add more sugar as required. Leave this mix on a low heat for around 15-20mins, until it's reduced by around a quarter and thickened a little. Take it off the heat and leave to cool for a while. In the meantime beat the egg yolk thoroughly, and once the cream mix is just warm rather than hot, pour a little onto the egg. Continue to whisk well and pour on the rest of the cream. Scoop out the cardamom pods and bay leaf, and set to one side.
Melt about half of the butter in a frying pan, and when it's lightly foaming put in the panettone slices and cooked until slightly browned on both sides. Add more butter as it's needed. As the panettone is quite rich already this step might not be necessary but thought I'd stick to family tradition.
To assemble the pudding, find a dish that will hold two layers of panettone. Place slices on the bottom, overlap them a bit, and repeat for another layer on top. Pour the cream mixture over the top and push the panettone into it so that gets to soak up some of the liquid. The panettone shouldn't be floating in cream but you should be able to see some when you push the pudding down a bit. Dot a few bits of butter over the top and bake in the middle of the oven at gas mark 5 for around 25mins. The top of the pudding should be golden so cover with foil if it looks like it's scorching.
Eat with a big spoon while still a warm.

NB Some Twitter discussion revealed that this pudding might well have been influenced by another desert from the Indian sub-continent, shahi turka, which very unusually for me I had never heard of before. Anyway, here's to fusion cooking in all its forms!


Nora said...

Yum, yum, yum! I love bread and butter pudding, especially made with panettone, and I love the idea of having cardamom, not to mention getting rid of any egginess than can occur! Sounds fabulous.

Shaheen said...

This blog entry reminded me of my my chidhood and my Dad. Funny he did not cook that often, but when he did - those are the memories of the kitchen that stuck with me, rather than those of my mother who cooked everyday for us (oh the things we take for granted).

I have to admit I amnot a big fan of bread pudding, but this one looks good as it uses panettone and doesn't look so soggy.

Finally like you I have not heard of the 'shahi turka' either.

TheFastestIndian said...

Hi Nora, it was pretty yum! I love eggs but definitely have an issue with 'egginess' in puddings. I am not a fan of creme caramel!

Hi Mangocheeks, funny what memories persist with us. Oddly enough out of my parents it is my father who is the big cooking enthusiast, rather than my mother. I think my mum sees it more as a chore!
I think this pudding works as it is moist but not too 'wet'.
Maybe shahi turka is a regional thing then? I like to think I'm pretty well informed about mithai/mishti so not sure how that one passed me by!

kerstin said...

Like the sound of this. What happened to your junk food posts?

TheFastestIndian said...

@MsML I think you'll find that I've become quite the gourmand these days!! Will try and rectify and get some posts about oven chips up.....

kerstin said...

Glad to hear it! (only kidding)