Monday, March 24, 2008

Bread and Butter Pudding

Submitted by Susanna Duffy, The Canny Granny

My father used to make Bread and Butter Pudding. I wish he hadn't. It was years and years past childhood before I dared to try it again.

It was the only thing he could make, apart from eggs on toast, and whenever he started reaching for the custard and sultanas, we knew what was coming. Back in the 1950s brown bread was his idea of healthy food for children and he would base the pudding on a whole grain kibble monstrosity that weighed as much as ten house bricks. For all I know house bricks may have tasted better. My brothers managed to get away with one or two mouthfuls but I was soft hearted, and would eat all of my portion. He thought I liked it.

Much much later I found out how to make real bread and butter pudding. The bread is the answer to a lovely sweet pudding. Don't use soft, "plastic" bread, and never, never try this pud with brown bread! A high tin, or any well-made white sandwich loaf, will do the trick.

  • 25g (1-oz.) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 8 thin slices bread
  • 50g (2-oz.) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • 500 ml (1/2 pint) packet of custard

    Grease a 1-litre (2-pint) pie dish with butter. Cut the crusts off the bread. Spread one side of each slice with butter, then cut into triangles.

    Arrange a layer of bread, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of sultanas. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, then repeat the layers of bread and sultanas, sprinkling with cinnamon, until you have used up all of the bread. Finish with a layer of bread, then set aside.

    Pour the custard over the prepared bread layers and sprinkle with nutmeg and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 180C (355F/Gas 4). Place the dish into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.

    Dear Dad, he whipped up a big dish of bread and butter pudding made with some ghastly brown sourdough loaf for my 50th birthday, as a special treat. It was special alright, it was the last gift he ever gave me.

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    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Mississippi Fudge Cake

    mississppi fudge cake

    From Nita S.:

    After my mother passed away, my daddy gave me all her recipes with the comment that "you come from a long line of good cooks." How I wish that talent had passed on to me! But here is one of my favorites of my mother's recipes.

    We were a family that loved desserts. I remember holiday get-togethers where there would be one whole table just for desserts. Pies, cakes, candy, cookies, all piled high and my cousins and I couldn't wait to dive in.

    Back then, the women served while the men ate and all us kids had our own table (a card table) in another room . Once the men were served then the ladies could sit down and enjoy their meal. It was nothing for the meal to last for hours while all lingered to talk and enjoy their dessert.

    Mississippi Fudge Cake
    2 sticks margarine, melted
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs, beaten
    1/3 cup cocoa
    1 1/2 cups flour
    3/4 cup pecans, chopped

    Mix margarine, sugar and eggs. Add flour and cocoa; mix. Pour into oblong baking pan or dish. Sprinkle pecans over top. Bake 25 minutes in preheated 325F oven. When cake tests done, remove and add 1 package miniature marshmallows on top. Bake another 10 minutes, or until marshmallows are melted. Remove from oven and cool before slicing.

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    Rich Sweet Potato Pie

    rich sweet potato pie

    From Nita S.:

    My granny was a wonderful cook and hardly had any recipes written down. They were all in her head. This one was written for me when I was a young wife and had aspirations of following in her footsteps.

    Not many people know about sweet potato pie anymore and most when you mention it sort of grimace. But I remember always looking forward to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners because that’s when THE PIE was on the table.

    Granny always let me put the marshmallows on top and back in the oven it would go so they could melt. I had to watch closely and call her right on time or they would burn . I can taste it now and I haven't had one in 40 years.

    Granny's Rich Sweet Potato Pie
    2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup sweet milk
    1/2 cup butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup chopped nuts
    1 ready-to-use pie shell

    While potatoes are warm add brown sugar, butter and milk. Add whole eggs and beat thoroughly. Add vanilla, baking powder, spices and chopped nuts and mix well. Pour into pie shell and bake 10 minutes in oven preheated to 425F.

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