Caramelised citrus Bread pudding

Here is a handy recipe which will make excellent use of old bread.  I read a very basic recipe for bread pudding in a book dating back over a hundred years.  I considered it needed a little extra flavour and colour to appeal and I think this is absolutely delicious.  I have eaten it both cold and reheated. I have to say I preferred it reheated (just in the microwave for 10 seconds), topped off with fresh berries and a drizzle of cream. Either way – not a recipe to be ignored.   This pudding is handy in that it can be made well in advance. Once made it needs to firm up in the fridge overnight.  Easily adapted for vegans.


Start with the caramel. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Other than swirling the pan around from time to time don’t be tempted to stir or fiddle with the sugar.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup starts to bubble the heat can be increased slightly. After three to four minutes the water will have boiled away and the sugar syrup will start to colour. It is better to use a pan without a non-stick coating so that you can see the colour change.
When the syrup has taken on a pale golden colour I take the pan off the heat and continue to swirl the caramel around in the residual heat of the pan. In this way the caramel is less likely to burn. You need a colour the same as that of golden syrup – any darker and it can be bitter.
Once the caramel is just right then it can be divided between the four dishes and left to set.

Tip: Cleaning the caramel pan is easy, simply add hot water and reheat and any residual stuck on caramel will dissolve and wash away.

To make the pudding place the milk, cream, sugar and orange zest (not the juice) into a small saucepan and place over a gentle heat, stirring all the time.
Once the sugar has dissolved and just before the milk boils, take off the heat. Add the fine breadcrumbs and stir well.
Measure the custard powder (or cornflour and food colour) and mix this to a thin paste with the juice from the orange.

Add this thin paste to the pan containing the milk and breadcrumbs, stir well then divide between the four ramekins containing the caramel. The pudding mix should come almost to the top of the dishes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c

Pop the four ramekins into the base of a large casserole pan that has a well- fitting lid.
Pour boiling water into the pan so that it comes about 1/3rd of the way up the ramekin, pop the lid on and into the oven for 20 minutes. No need to cover the puddings or use a trivet.

Take from the oven and carefully transfer the four ramekins to a cooling rack.

Once completely cold cover with a plate or saucer and pop into the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve I found more caramel sauce was achieved by first standing the puddings in a bowl of very hot water. Run a knife around the pudding then stand the ramekin in hot water for ten minutes or so.

Run a knife around again and you will see that some of the caramel has started to ooze up the sides of the ramekin. Place a serving plate over the top, quickly invert, a light shake and the pudding will turn out with its own caramel sauce.

I have eaten these hot and cold and I love it with a few fresh berries and drizzle of cream.

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