Blueberry and Lemon Bread Pudding
Comfort food at its very best: fresh berries and plenty of lemon flavour added to a creamy yet light bread pudding with a crunchy topping. A pudding like this is a good way to use up slightly stale bread, but also brioche, panettone or even baguette.
- 4–6 thick slices slightly stale bread
- 200g blueberries
- 250ml double cream
- 250ml milk
- finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 1 deep, 1-litre capacity baking dish; a roasting tin
1. If the bread crusts are hard and dry, trim them off; with softer breads (like brioche, Hot Cross Bun Loaf, panettone or white sandwich loaf) you may not need to do this. Cut the bread into 1.5cm cubes and put them into the baking dish to be sure you have enough to almost fill it. Tip the cubes out of the dish into a mixing bowl, then grease the dish with butter.
2. Add the blueberries to the bread cubes and mix well. Tip into the prepared baking dish.
3. Put the cream, milk, lemon zest, sugar and eggs into a wide-necked jug, or a bowl with a lip, and mix thoroughly with a hand whisk or plastic spatula. Pour the mixture over the bread and blueberries to almost fill the dish. Gently push the bread cubes under the surface of the liquid (they will bob up again but will become moistened). Leave to stand, at room temperature, for 2 hours so the bread can soak up liquid.
4. Towards the end of this time, heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Half-fill a roasting tin with cold water and set the baking dish in it. Carefully transfer to the heated oven and bake for about 1 hour until the top of the pudding is golden and crisp and the centre feels set when gently pressed.
5. Remove the baking dish from the roasting tin and leave to cool on a heatproof surface for about 15 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving.
If you don’t have an immediate use for slightly stale bread, cut off the crusts and cut into thick cubes, then freeze. When you want to make a bread pudding, or need crumbs for stuffings and crumb coatings, you can remove as many cubes as you need; they thaw in minutes.