This dish has been popular for more than two hundred years and appears in many eighteenth-century cookery books. As with all old recipes, there are many variations. Some include glacé cherries (although these tend to colour the pudding too much), others spread the butter with marmalade or lemon curd as well as butter, while Prince Charles’ favourite version includes bananas, black treacle and brandy.
Remove the crusts from the bread. Butter the bread slices and cut each in two triangles. Arrange layers of bread, currants and peel in a greased pie dish.
Beat the eggs, egg yolk and milk together, and stir in the lemon rind, nutmeg and brandy or rum.
Pour over the bread and leave to stand for 1 hour. This soaking is the secret of a good bread and butter pudding.
Just before cooking, sprinkle the sugar on top of the pudding. Bake at 350°/180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until the top is firm and crusty.
This recipe is extracted from English Puddings: Sweet and Savoury by Mary Norwak, published by Grub Street.