One dessert I can distinctly recall from my childhood is bread and butter pudding. The best bits were the bread that had sat on top of the baking custard - they had the flavour of the custard but a more substantial texture because they had been on top. The sultanas were acceptable, but optional in my view. Those sultanas that had managed to breach the surface were quickly dispatched to the bin because, in my view, there is little that is supposedly edible that could taste worst than a burnt sultana.

We rediscovered baked custard a few years ago and it has appeared regularly albeit infrequently on our winter dessert menu ever since; but bread and butter custard hasn't been sighted for decades - until tonight. I searched online for a recipe and found this one at It's made and in the oven as I type. And in case the site ever disappears, here's the recipe:


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 300ml pure cream
  • 8 thick slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 40g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • Vanilla ice-cream, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 5cm-deep, 17cm x 28cm (base) baking dish. Whisk eggs, caster sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk and cream in a bowl.
  2. Spread both sides of each bread slice with butter. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Arrange half the bread in rows in prepared dish. Sprinkle with half the sultanas. Repeat with remaining bread and sultanas.
  3. Pour egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 around 45 minutes or until golden and set. Serve with ice-cream.

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