“You don’t win friends with salad.”
~ Homer Simpson
Easter is nearly here. I love this time of year in Australia as the days get shorter, the nights cooler, and we begin our slow descent toward winter. Today’s recipe is a seasonal twist on one of my favourite easy-to-whip-up crowd-pleasing desserts. It uses Hot Cross Buns – a spiced and fruited yeast bun with a white flour paste cross on top which is made for Easter. (Note, these were in the shops in Australia on Boxing Day this year – the day after Christmas, which was very controversial!) If you don’t have Hot Cross Buns in your part of the world use a good fruit bread instead.
This pudding is delicious served warm with a drizzle of cream or custard or a dollop of your favourite yoghurt or ice-cream. Or go crazy and put it all on top of your pudding. Why not?
If you manage to have any as left-overs it is great eating cold as well.
I served this pudding with a Woolworths brand Hot Cross Bun flavoured ice-cream which was seriously good.
- 4 eggs
- 2.5 cups of milk (625ml or close enough)
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 flat teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 flat teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 Hot Cross Buns
- a large handful of dried fruit – sultanas, raisins, dried apricots or whatever is in the pantry and chop larger fruit into small pieces – I used dried dates
- jam or marmalade of your choice – I used Apricot
Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate or 355F) or slightly less if it is fan forced.
Using butter grease a baking dish large enough to hold your buns and the custard mixture (a six to eight cup capacity should do it). Slice your Hot Cross Buns v
Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, spices and vanilla, ensuring that sugar has dissolved. Pour gently over bread. Wiggle the slices a little to ensure that the egg mixture has gone right to the bottom of the dish. Then let it stand for 30 minutes so that the bread absorbs the liquid. This will give your pudding a nice lift.
Put the pudding into a large baking tray with high sides and pour room-temperature water into the tray until it comes halfway up the side of your pudding dish. This will stop the custard cooking too fast and give your pudding a
Bake for one hour or until the top has risen and is golden and nicely firm. (If it feels really wobbly in the centre give it another five to ten minutes.) Don’t panic if it sinks again after it’s been out of the oven for a bit – it shall still taste delicious. Carefully lift the pudding bowl out of the water bath. Serve with ice-cream, custard or cream. Heavenly.