When we were in Ireland May of 2013, specifically in Dingle on the west coast, we were fortunate to stay at a lovely bed and breakfast right on the water called the Castlewood House.
The multi-award winning B & B is run by Brian Heaton and Helen Woods Heaton, who opened Castlewood House in 2005. Helen runs the front of the house, and Brian, among his other duties, cooks breakfast at Castlewood. And, an outstanding job he does.
In all of my visits to the UK, I’ve somehow missed the experience of bread and butter pudding, which is typically served as a dessert. If you are not aware, all desserts in the UK are called puddings. Don’t ask me why…
But anyway, at this B & B, there it was, amongst many other elaborate breakfast offerings every morning. I could smell the wafting cinnamon smell all the way up to our room in the wee hours.
I was a bit hesitant to try it at first, being that I didn’t need a sugar buzz so early in the day. But fortunately, I did. And I fell in love with it. Helen told me that the recipe for this bread and butter pudding, as well as some others, are posted on their website here.
This is a recipe I can definitely see making during the winter months, because it is sweet and hearty, but I just couldn’t wait. And as it turns out, it would be good any time of the year, especially for a brunch.
So here it is for you. It’s Brian’s recipe! I adapted the recipe just slightly, but you can get the original one by using the link.
Bread and Butter Pudding
12 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed, I used potato bread
About 1 stick, 4 ounces soft unsalted butter
6 ounces golden raisins
Nutmeg, about 1 teaspoon
4 Large Eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces evaporated milk
Have an 8″ square baking dish handy.
Generously butter four slices of bread and place them butter-side down inside the baking dish.
Sprinkle with some nutmeg and add half of the raisins.
Arrange another layer of buttered bread, buttered side down and sprinkle on the remaining raisins and more nutmeg.
Cover with the remaining bread buttered side down.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs then add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla, cream and evaporated milk, and whisk until fully incorporated. Carefully pour the mixture over the bread and leave to stand for one hour or ideally overnight.
Right before baking, sprinkle the top of the bread and butter pudding with nutmeg and cinnamon. (Brian’s recipe doesn’t use cinnamon, but I would have sworn that I smelled cinnamon every morning!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish in a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water until the water reaches halfway up the baking dish.
Bake in the middle of the oven for one hour, removing the aluminum foil 10 minutes from the end ensuring the top gets crisp and golden. This photo shows what the pudding looks like after the foil is removed.
This is the photo of the pudding after the final 10 minutes in the oven. It’s a little more golden brown and puffy.
I served the bread pudding with crème fraiche. Sweetened whipped cream would also be delicious. I also tried it with some fresh blueberries.
It was definitely good with the blueberries, but it is absolutely perfect without as well. See what you think!
I hope if you ever go to Dingle, Ireland, in County Kerry, that you stop by and at least say hi to Brian and Helen, if you don’t have the time to spend a few days. They are kind and generous people who are proud of their B & B as well as their corner of Ireland. Fortunately, Helen was also the one who guided us to have dinner at the Global Village in Dingle, which turned out to be such a wonderful experience. They can be tour guides for you, as well.