Whenever we have croissants or petit pains au chocolat leftover in our guesthouse, we turn them into a yummy bread and butter pudding for the following day’s breakfast. No need to restrict it to croissants of course – you can also use leftover sliced bread (with baguette slices you’ll need to use a little more liquid and let it ‘soak’ a bit longer to soften the crusts) or even pannetone and (not too rich) cake or barmbrack…
The recipe is extremely flexible, leaving you completely in charge of the flavourings and additions. All you do need to do is keep (more or less) to the proportions for the milk, cream, eggs and sugar mixture. You can even make a savoury bread and butter pudding by adding bits of bacon, sliced mushrooms, peppers, onions, grated cheese and/or chopped herbs, or even prawns… To ring the changes for breakfast try adding fresh (or poached) fruit or dried fruit (like raisins or prunes or apricots). Or sprinkle with grated chocolate, lemon zest, chopped nuts or dried spices (such as cinnamon or cardamom).
The world literally is your oyster…!
This morning’s little experiment pleased my guests Alexi Fernandez and his French girlfriend, and Steve and Lynda Baumgartner from Missouri so much they asked for the recipe – so here it is. (Incidentally Steve and Lynda gave me some of their award-winning home-cured Boone County Ham which I shall taste tonight and will write up in a separate entry…)
To serve 4 you need:
- 4 croissants, sliced in 1cm rounds
- some soft butter for greasing and for lightly buttering the slices
- large handful of strawberries, chopped
- 3 medium-sized eggs
- 200 ml creme fraiche
- 4oo ml milk
- 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of orange flower water
Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the sliced croissants. Lightly butter the slices and arrange in the dish, alternating with a sprinkling of strawberries. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and sugar until almost frothy, stir in the orange flower water, then pour over the croissants making sure that all the slices get a good soaking. Leave to stand for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180’C then bake the dish for 30-40 minutes until the custard is softly set and swollen.