About this recipe:Aromatic malt loaf lends a healthy rich note to classic bread pudding, allowing you to reduce the fat without sacrificing any flavour as there is no need to spread the slices with butter. There is lots of dried fruit – dates, apricots, pears and apples – between the malt loaf layers, giving natural sweetness.
1 small malt loaf, about 225 g (8 oz)
55 g (2 oz) stoned dried dates, chopped
55 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
55 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat dried pears, chopped
55 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat dried apples, chopped
300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp soft brown or demerara sugar
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
caster or icing sugar to finish
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Cut the malt loaf into 10 slices. Arrange half the slices in a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the chopped dried fruit. Arrange the remaining slices of malt loaf on top.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk until bubbles form round the edge. Beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl or jug. Pour the scalding milk over them, whisking constantly. Pour the custard mixture over the malt loaf and fruit and leave to soak for 30 minutes so that the malt loaf absorbs some of the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3).
Put the bread pudding in the oven and bake for 40–50 minutes or until set and golden.
Remove the pudding from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle with a little caster or sifted icing sugar before serving.
Some more ideas
Replace the dates with prunes. Substitute 4 tbsp of fresh orange juice for 4 tbsp of the milk and add the grated zest of 1 orange to the custard mixture, reducing the sugar to 1 tbsp. * Fruited teabreads or raisin loaf can be used in place of the malt loaf. Alternatively, use day-old French bread, cut into small cubes, or stale white bread and add some sultanas or raisins.
This rich dessert, while being low in fat, provides useful fibre from the dried fruit (dates in particular) and protein from the eggs as well as plenty of carbohydrate. * Eggs have received a ‘bad press’ in the last few years because of their cholesterol content, but they are an excellent source of many nutrients, including protein and iron, and they are low in fat.