Winter is upon us

If you’re anything like us, you went a bit wild in the ‘seasonal’ aisle at the supermarket during December, stocking up on treats and goodies like the apocalypse was nigh. New Year’s Day has come and gone, and here at casa Crumbs and Roses, we’ve still got boxes of mince pies stacked high in the cupboard, taking up space that could be use by… I don’t know, kale or something. Whatever it is people eat in January.

When we’re as short on space as we are (our kitchen is literally smaller than a double bed), having excess food lying around not being eaten is really not an option. As the OH exasperatedly said as he lifted and shifted the stack of mince pies to make room for something else for the fourth time that day, ‘Can’t you DO something with these?’

So I did.

This is a mince pie themed riff on a classic bread and butter pudding, using the crumbly sweetness of the pastry, soaked in a fragrant clementine custard, and baked with slices of citrus on the top to keep it moist and flavoursome (sorry to say moist, but that’s what it is).

Conveniently, this recipe also uses up any sad stray clementines you’ve got in the fruit bowl, and also – if you’re inclined to carbing yourself silly at Christmas (and who isn’t) – any leftover breads: pannetone, brioche or sandwich loaf works perfectly.

January is not for deprivation. Let the festive warmth hold you that wee bit longer. (or freeze the pudding and enjoy it in March – the choice is yours).

Mince Pie Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 4 (or it should do if you don’t live with a piglet)

Ingredients

3 shop-bought mince pies
4-5 brioche milk rolls (or equivalent amount in pannetone or stale good white bread)
3 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
150ml whole milk
1 clementine
A tiny pinch of cinnamon

To serve
Clotted cream, double cream or really good vanilla ice cream (I use Kelly’s Cornish ice cream, because it makes my heart ache for home)

Method

(in which Rosie says the word ‘slice’ more times than is comfortable for anyone)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c
  2. Slice the bread rolls at an angle and arrange half of them in the bottom of a loaf tin or small roasting tray – whatever you’ve got that can be baked in the oven
  3. Cut up the mince pies into ‘slices’ – they’ll crumble completely. Arrange the mince pie chunks in an even layer across the sliced bread, including all the pastry and sugar crumbs.
  4. Finish by layering the rest of the bread slices evenly on top.
  5. Slice the zested clementine crossways and layer the slices on top of the pudding (see below.Clementine flavoured bread and butter pudding recipe - Crumbs and Roses
  6. Put the milk in a saucepan, then zest the clementine, adding the zest and the cinnamon to the milk. Heat the milk to scalding point (ie nearly boiling), then remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
  7. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a jug until they’re pale and golden. Add the cooled, aromatic milk and whisk to incorporate.
  8. Pour the custard mixture all over the prepared bread and mince pie mix, then leave it for about 15 minutes for it to all soak in.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Check it’s done (and not still eggy in the middle) by pressing it gently in the middle. If it’s not done, return it to the oven for another five minutes or so.
  10. Serve with anything you’d serve with a mince pie.
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