Bread and Butter Pudding with Whisky-soaked Raisins

This is one of those recipes that makes you glad you have ingredients left over. I prefer to make it with panettone - the traditional Italian Christmas cake that is available at this time of the year - but it's not obligatory. (It would make a wonderful alternative for anyone who doesn't like Christmas pudding.)

Serves 6

Bread and Butter Pudding with Whisky-soaked Raisins
 6 x 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices panettone, or good-quality white bread cut from a large loaf, crusts left on
 11/2 oz (40 g) softened butter
 2 tablespoons whisky
 2 oz (50 g) raisins
 2 oz (50 g) pitted Agen prunes, each cut into 4 pieces
 2 oz (50 g) ready-to-eat dried apricots, each cut into 4 pieces
 11/2 oz (40 g) whole candied peel, chopped into 1/4 inch (5 mm) pieces
 zest of 1 lemon, removed with a zester
 zest of 1 small orange, removed with a zester
 10 fl oz (275 ml) whole milk
 21/2 fl oz (65 ml) double cream
 3 large eggs
 3 oz (75 g) golden caster sugar
 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated
 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
 Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350F, 180C.

You will also need a baking dish with a base measurement of 8 x 6 inches (20 x 15 cm) and 11/2 inches (4 cm) deep, lightly buttered.


About 2-3 hours before you start, pour the whisky over the raisins in a small bowl and leave to soak. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350F, 180C. To make the pudding, butter the panettone or bread generously on one side only and cut each slice into 4.

Now mix in the prunes, apricots, peel, zests and raisins (plus any remaining whisky) in a bowl, then scatter half over the base of the buttered dish. Now place a layer of panettone or bread over and sprinkle the remaining fruit over that.

Arrange the remaining squares of panettone or bread (buttered side up) on top, overlapping slightly. After that, whisk the milk, cream, eggs and caster sugar together and pour the mixture all over the pudding.

Finally, press the bread down into the custard very lightly and sprinkle the nutmeg over, followed by the demerara sugar.

Place on a high shelf and bake for 40 minutes, until the surface is golden and crunchy.

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