I love the citrus flavor of orange or in this case the Malta fruit in this rather heavy and rich bread and butter pudding. The compote as topping is just right to balance the mild sweetness of the pudding. I love to eat it warm with a mug of black sugarless home brewed coffee. A perfect dessert.
Since childhood bread pudding has been one of my favorites. Be it the simple bread cooked in milk on a gas stove with a little sugar and nutmeg or cinnamon or something more elaborate baked in oven. I can eat this anytime anywhere.
I sometimes layer orange.Malta wedges along with the buttered bread to make it even richer but here we will just use the zest in the pudding and top it with the compote. One can grill the fruit before layering for that burnt orange taste which is yum. I also make chunky marmalade sandwiches instead of using fresh fruit and it turns out just as amazing.
This is a simple classic recipe and I have used one day old white bread here. An ultimate comfort food. raisins soaked in Cointreau or brandy makes it a little more adventurous.
Bread ( one day old ) – 6 Slices
Full Fat Milk – 2 Cups
Condensed Sweetened Milk – 1/2 tin (Milkmade)
Orange/Malta Zest – 2 Tablespoons
Cointreau / Brandy or Rum – 1-2 tablespoon
Eggs 2 Large
Butter – 50 gm ( for spreading)
Seedless Raisins / Sultanas – 50 gm
Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch
Put the raisins/sultanas in a saucepan and pour the Cointreau / orange juice or the preferred liquor and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
In another heavy bottom pan boil milk and condensed milk mixture. Add cinnamon stick and orange zest to it. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes so the flavors get incorporated.
Turn off the heat, cover and set aside.
I do not trim the edges of the bread but you can.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 Degrees F. Place a bigger tin than the one you are using to bake pudding inside the oven to warm.
Grease a 12×9 inch baking dish. Mine was a little smaller but you should have one slightly bigger so that there is enough space for the pudding to rise.
Toast the bread slices lightly. This is my way as I find toasting gives a great flavor to the pudding. You can use them plain too.
Butter each bread slice and cut them into triangles.
In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add the infused milk and a 2-3 tablespoons of the fresh malta juice into it and beat again till everything is combined properly. Remove the cinnamon stick. You can use powder too (1/4 teaspoon).
Layer the bread triangles, buttered side up, in the prepared baking dish. They should be slightly overlapping. Sprinkle the raisins and sultanas between the layers and pour the liquid and remaining raisins on top.
Sprinkle some more fresh orange zest on top.
Place the baking dish inside the warm bigger baking tin. Pour hot water carefully halfway till the smaller tin. Be very careful not to scald yourself or let water get into the pudding.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pudding is wobbly from inside and browned from top.
A tooth pick should come out mostly clean when inserted in the center.
Scoop out and serve it warm with the Malta/Orange compote on top.
You can also use dollop of crème fraîche if that suits your mood.
Tips : Thick sliced breads work wonderful in this pudding. You can make thick chunky marmalade sandwiches and omit compote or layer fresh orange/ malta wedges bweteen the bread layers.
Heat up a little marmalade over water bath and brush it over the top of the pudding for that orange glaze.
Explore all the possibilities and be innovative wit hthis classic rich bread and butter pudding.
I do not use too many spices or vanilla as the natural flavors get masked.