Bread and Butter Pudding: Something for the New Year’s Weekend

After much debate as to which recipe we should close 2011 with, we felt a final hurrah of decadence was in order. With detox, diets and dumbbells looming in January, it’s only right to serve up some over indulgence to your New Year’s Eve guests. And what better way to do it than with the classic dish of soul-warming, belly-filling goodness: Bread and butter pudding.

Bread and Butter Pudding

From ‘Tea & Sympathy: Tales of an English Teashop in New York City‘*… “Bread and butter pudding, also known as nursery pudding, dates back to the eighteenth century. It is really custard baked with bread. This version is very rich and is best served warm. It is best made with bread that is a day or two old; you should always use good-quality, not processed bread.”

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time:
1 1/2 hours

For the pudding:
1 loaf of white bread, 1 or 2 days old, sliced.*
1 cup raisins – light, dark, or mixed
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons dark run (optional)

*Whole loves are better than presliced.

  • Preheat the oven to 250F.
  • Trim the crusts from the bread and butter most  of the slices apart from a few, which should be left unbuttered for the top layer.
  • Line a 3-inch-deep 8 x 8-inch dish with the buttered bread, buttered side up, and sprinkle with a little sugar and raisins.
  • Continue to layer the dish with the bread, sugar and raisins until almost full, leaving space for 1 more layer of unbuttered bread.

For the custard:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1 cup brown sugar

  • Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla until hot but not boiling.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the egg yolks into the hot milk, then add rum if desired.
  • Cut the remaining unbuttered bread into triangles. Place the bread triangles, overlapping slightly, on top of the pudding.
  • Pour the custard mixture evenly over the top.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with the dark brown sugar and cover with foil.
  • Place the dish in a large roasting pan and place it in the oven. Fill the roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach two thirds of the way up the side of the pudding dish. Bake for about 40 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp the top.

* All the recipes from the blog, and many more, can be found in our cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: Tales of an English Teashop in New York City‘, alongside anecdotes and accolades we’ve collected over the years. It is available in-store. Please contact us on 212-989-9735, or at, if you would like to purchase a copy or have any questions.

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