‘One a penny, Two a penny’…

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!

One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!

Ah, the sweet sounds of that English nursery rhythm which I’m sure brings back fond memories of glorious childhood days spent in the playground. Today, I’m not just singing about the delectable buns, I’m also posting about them. They are the star ingredient in this week’s recipe…Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding. Gosh, that’s a bit of a mouthful but an incredibly tasty one!

Bread & Butter pudding is one of those classic desserts like apple crumble, jam rolly-polly and dare I say it, spotted dick. It’s timeless and never fails as a good old family dinner-time treat. Over the years I have discovered that it can be pretty versatile too, often I’ll make it with brioche and have found that it’s especially tasty with Pantone at Christmas. You can add all sorts of extras like apricots or chocolate chips (although the mountain of Easter eggs stacked in the kitchen cupboard made me hold off on the additional chocolate front this time). Anyway, there is plenty enough flavour from the fruit and spices in the buns themselves, that any added extra’s aren’t necessary for this recipe.

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This take on a classic is ideal in the aftermath of Easter for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an instant cure for post bank holiday blues. Secondly, it uses up all those left over buns patiently sitting in the bread bin. Thus, I feel that i’m nicely killing two birds with one stone and urge you to do the same.

Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding

Ingredients

6 Hot Cross Buns, halved and buttered
600ml Milk
300ml double cream
300ml single cream
1 vanilla pod (2tsp vanilla essence if you haven’t got pods)
4 medium eggs
dried and chopped apricots
Zest of an orange
Zest of a lemon

Method

Before doing anything, slice the buns and spread each half with a little butter.

Moving onto the custard, pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil then turn the heat to a simmer. Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape the inside into the saucepan, adding the pod to the mix itself…mhmmmm vanilla goodness.

Whisk the eggs then add the sugar. Continue whisking until pale. Whisk in the milk and cream mixture gradually (make sure to remove the pod before this step).

Dip each of the bun halves into the custard. Give them each a good dunking so they soak up all the flavour. Arrange in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the apricots and grate the lemon and orange so the gratings colourfully spatter the pudding.

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Pour the remaining custard slowly onto the pudding and leave the buns to soak for 10 minutes or so. Good old Jamie Oliver says to cook such puddings in a ban marie style. So…place your pudding the the centre of a large roasting tin and fill it with hot water before placing it in the baking oven (170c) for 45 minutes.

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Drizzle with cream to serve

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Thursday 31st March 2016

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‘Wednesdays’

Today is Wednesday and that means we’ve successfully made it through the dreaded Monday and Tuesday of the week, so that’s good. Wednesdays are good. Wednesdays are especially good in our household for the 2 following reasons:
One, we frequent the local (and only) pub, the Wagon and Horses for a juicy 80z Steak Night deal. And two, We receive our weekly dosage of organic fruit and veg delivered on the doorstep by the lovely Able & Cole.

I reiterate. Wednesdays are good.

I know that to some, buying into the organic ethos may seem a little rah rah and have people asking, is it really worth all the faff? I too had initial reservations about these organic box schemes but hear me out, it’s actually great! For one, it encourages more adventurous cooking by introducing obscure seasonal produce. Stuff you’ve never heard of let alone cooked with (yes a kohlrabi is an actual vegetable). But more to the point, you get to see veg as it should be with all its oddities and imperfections. The misshaped carrots and the kinked parsnips that thanks to ridiculous trading standards, never make it to our supermarkets. It’s straight-from-the-ground proper veg with character. I love it.

Today’s parcel did not disappoint. I saw this ginormous potato bulging from inside the veg box and immediately thought, I’m having you, and I’m having you for breakfast.

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