Saturday, 15 November 2008

Savoury Bread & Butter Pudding

In fact, this is quite possibly closer to tartiflette than it is to B&B pudding.

The choice of cheese is up to you. Gruyere is the obvious one for me as I love the sweet, straw aroma and flavour of cooked gruyere. Beaufort or comte will be similarly great. Good farmhouse cheddar or stilton will give a different slant. Maybe you should just use up your cheese leftovers? Neals Yard sell lovely blue-streaked chunks of cheddar for cooking at a vastly reduced price.

Serves 4


half an onion finely chopped
3 or 4 slices of thin-cut pancetta
250g grated cheese
half a loaf or so of buttered crustless sliced white bread
one and a half pints of full-cream milk
6 large eggs
salt & pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Line the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish with several slices of the buttered bread. Sprinkle over two thirds of the cheese and lay the pancetta over the cheese. Place the rest of bread on top.

Fry the onion with a knob of butter until softened. Once soft, stir in the milk and add a little salt (remembering that both the cheese and the bacon will have their own) and pepper. Pour mixture into the beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Then pour the milk and egg mix over the bread in the dish and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Take the pudding out of the oven and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.

This is delicious served with a simple salad. If you have used a milder cheese, the salad should be dressed with something tart and punchy (use wine vinegar rather than balsamic and maybe add some lemon juice). If you have used a powerful salty cheese such as stilton or strong cheddar, try a sweeter dressing made with gloopy balsamic.

Notes for gluttons

This recipe is clearly adaptable. You could try adding mushrooms, peppers or other veg. You could go italian and use basil, sun dried toms and mozzarella. No, I've got it, chicken bread and tikka butter masala.

No comments: