There really isn’t much point in making this for fewer than six, as it doesn’t work with eggs/cream quantities. But it reheats well in a low oven and is pretty well-behaved in a microwave too, and I can’t tell you how good it is. Quite simply, one of the best puddings in the world. In my house, people will eat it for breakfast if there’s some left over from the night before – and who am I to stop them?
Put the raisins into a small saucepan and add the whisky. Bring to just under the boil, pull off the heat and leave to plump up for 20 minutes.
Bring the milk, cream, broad strips of orange zest, 100g of the sugar and the salt to the boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Remove from the heat.
Beat the eggs, extra yolk and the rest of the sugar together with a wooden spoon. Pour the warm milk and cream onto this, stirring all the time. Add the vanilla.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Butter the bread then layer it, buttered side up, in an ovenproof dish, sprinkling on the zest, raisins and whisky as you go (if all the whisky has been soaked up by the raisins just sprinkle a little more on the bread as you layer it).
Spread on some marmalade as you go, too. Remove the rind from the cream mixture. Pour the cream through a sieve onto the bread and leave to sit for half an hour – this just makes the pudding lighter.
Put the dish into a roasting tin and add enough boiling water to the tin to come half way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until puffy, set on the top (if you press the middle with your index finger it should be just set), and golden.
Leave to cool slightly (the pudding will continue to cook in the residual heat).
Melt some marmalade in a pan with about ¼ tbsp of water. Let this warm up and melt (the marmalade doesn’t have to be completely melted but it needs to be paintable). Paint this generously on top of the pudding to make a glaze.
Serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream.
Visit our desserts section for more delicious pudding recipes.