Apricot and rum brioche pudding

About this recipe: This glamorous version of bread and butter pudding is based on brioche, the French bread enriched with eggs and butter, and has an egg custard spiked with rum or brandy for a seductive flavour. Sultanas, dried apricots and apricot conserve provide lots of sweetness, so no sugar is needed.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients

Serves: 4 

  • 8 medium-sized slices brioche loaf, about 200 g (7 oz) in total
  • 4 tbsp apricot conserve
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) sultanas
  • 100 g (3½ oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp dark rum or brandy

Method

Prep:35min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

  1. Spread the brioche slices with the conserve. (If the conserve is a little thick, warm it gently so that it can be spread easily.) Cut the slices in half diagonally or into squares.
  2. Arrange the pieces of brioche in a lightly greased 1.2 litre (2 pint) ovenproof dish, scattering the sultanas and chopped dried apricots between the layers.
  3. Place the eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, vanilla extract and rum or brandy, and whisk together until well combined. Pour the mixture over the brioche, then gently press the brioche down into the liquid. Leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). If you like, pull up some of the brioche slices to make a peaked effect. Bake the pudding for 30–35 minutes or until it is just firm to the touch. Serve immediately.

Each serving provides

B12, calcium, copper, selenium * A, B1, B2, niacin, iron, potassium, zinc

Some more ideas

If preferred, omit the brandy or rum and add another 1 tsp of vanilla extract. * For a slightly richer pudding, use whole milk instead of semi-skimmed. * To make a peach and fruited bread pudding, use 8 slices of a fruit bread instead of the brioche, and spread them with 4 tbsp orange marmalade (with or without shreds of peel). Replace the sultanas and dried apricots with 115 g (4 oz) chopped, ready-to-eat dried peaches. Instead of vanilla extract, flavour the custard with the grated zest of 1 orange and use 1 tbsp brandy or orange liqueur. Bake as in the main recipe.

Plus points

Brioche is made from an enriched yeast dough. Like other varieties of bread, it is an excellent source of starchy carbohydrate and contributes to the intake of several vitamins and minerals. * Dried apricots are not only a useful source of iron, they also contain good amounts of calcium. Regularly using dried apricots in recipes and enjoying them as a snack will help to boost intake of these essential minerals. * Many of the essential nutrients in milk are concentrated in the non-fat part. Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk therefore contain more of these nutrients than full-fat milk.

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