When I first came to London to work at the Dorchester, I was introduced to a cuisine that I thought was a little heavy. Bread and butter pudding attracted me particularly, so after a few experiments, I devised this lighter version.
30g butter, softened
3 small white bread rolls
1 tbsp sultanas, soaked to plump up, then drained
200ml double cream
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod, split
125g caster sugar
40g apricot jam
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 160’C/Gas Mark 3. Lightly butter a shallow ovenproof dish. Slice the bread rolls and spread with the remaining butter then place the slices in a single layer in the dish. Scatter over the sultanas.
2. Bring the milk, cream, salt and vanilla pod to a gentle boil in the saucepan. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together in a bowl until pale in colour. Gradually add the milk and cream mixture to the eggs while whisking. Strain into a jug, scraping out the seeds from the vanilla pod, then pour over the buttered bread in the ovenproof dish.
3. Place a piece of newspaper into a bain-marie or roasting tin, and set the dish on top. Pour enough hot water into the bain-marie to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes. When the pudding is ready, it should be set but still wobble slightly in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
4. Gently heat the apricot jam in a saucepan to melt it, thinning it with a little water if necessary so that the jam is spreadable. Pass through a fine sieve, then brush a thin coating over the top of the pudding. Spoon onto serving plates, dust with icing sugar and serve slightly warm.