Fresh Currant Bread And Butter Pudding
8 medium-thick slices day-old bread, crusts removed
50g/2oz/¼ cup butter, softened
115g/4oz/1 cup redcurrants
115g/4oz/1 cup blackcurrants
4 eggs, beaten
75g/3oz/6 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
475ml/16fl oz/2 cups creamy milk
5ml/1 tsp pure vanilla essence (extract)
Freshly grated nutmeg
30ml/2 tbsp demerara sugar
Single (light) cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Generously butter a 1.2 litre/2 pint/5 cup oval baking dish.
2. Spread the slices of bread generously with the butter, then cut them in half diagonally. Layer the slices in the dish, buttered side up, scattering the currants between the layers.
3. Beat the eggs and caster sugar lightly together in a large mixing bowl, then gradually whisk in the milk, vanilla essence and a large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
4. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, pushing the slices down. Scatter the demerara sugar and a little nutmeg over the top. Place the dish in a baking tin and fill with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and bake for 20-25 minutes more or until the top is golden. Cool slightly, then serve with single cream.