Stale bread. It might not sound like the most exciting ingredient of the week. But rather than throwing it out, it can be used up to make a variety of comforting dishes and old favourites.
Bread and Butter Pudding with Raspberry Jam
An old dessert, but one that has stood the test of time, this is another of those old family recipes. Who would have thought that bread could become so sweet?
This is simple and full of jam. Use good quality jam for the best results – St. Dalfour is my favourite and you can get it in most supermarkets. Yum.
- About 6-7 slices of stale white bread, crusts on
- 10fl oz/ 275ml milk
- 2.5 fl oz/ 75ml cream
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 oz/ 42 g caster sugar
- Around 2 oz currants
- Raspberry jam
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Grease an oven dish with butter
- Cover the base with slices of buttered bread, and top with generous amounts of raspberry jam and some currants.
- Repeat these steps until the mix is three-quarters from the top of the dish.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and (optional) cream.
- Sprinkle over the nutmeg and bake for 20-40 minutes, or until cooked.
Serve with fresh cream, custard, or ice cream.
There’s all sorts of variations on this dessert. I once had a really nice version with chocolate and bananas. I’ve also seen it with rhubarb and ginger, or mixed berries.
Old Fashioned Herb Stuffing
Mum has always used old bread to make her famous stuffing. I think that it’s an essential part of any Sunday roast. But it’s not for everyone. A friend claims that this dish is “utterly pointless”, either in or out of the bird. It’s a lazy, boring filling, he says. Maybe he had bad experiences while growing up with horrible packaged stuffings. It’s got to be fresh.
This is one of those very old, traditional recipes that has passed through several generations on my mother’s side of the family. It’s so good that, perhaps oddly, we’ve always eaten it on the side of chicken, pork, or beef.
Mum never measures the ingredients so, although the stuffing sometimes varies, it’s always delicious. Just blend up around 5 slices or about 150g breadcrumbs in a food processor, and mix up with plenty of fresh parsley and thyme, and some chopped sage (optional). Throw in one finely chopped onion. Add in a whole egg to bind the mixture, salt and pepper. Lastly, mix it all together with some melted butter.
Cook in the oven for about 50 mins, covered with foil.Cook for another ten minutes without foil. Have it with your roast.