Because I am always experimenting with bread recipes we do tend to have times when there are a couple of half eaten loaves in the house. I have found lots of uses for bread that is beginning to stale and this is one of them. I replace the usual crumble recipe with breadcrumbs. If you have oats feel free to add them. If you have only a bit of bread left then make a crumble as normal and supplement it with the breadcrumbs. In which case you can just mix the breadcrumbs in the with the flour before you rub the butter in.
The breadcrumbs add extra crunch and it saves any food waste.
Fruit of your choice, I used frozen chopped apples and blackberries.
50g unsalted butter 25g granulated or caster sugar 25g dark brown sugar (but you could use 50g of just the one sugar) 50g oats Approx 250-300g bread, made into crumbs
Because my fruit was frozen I placed it into an ovenproof dish ad popped it in the preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
In the meantime I melted the butter in a large pan and then stirred through the breadcrumbs and oats and cooked over a medium heat until beginning to colour, stirring from time to time. Sprinkle over the sugar and mix in well, continue to stir and cook until the mixture starts to caramelise a little.
Remove the fruit from the oven and evenly sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is fully cooked and the crumble is a deep brown colour. Serve with lashings of custard or cream.
Duerrs sent me a sample of their jam specifically made for home bakers. Made to be easily spreadable and stable when cooked their rhubarb and custard jam brings back memories of the sweets from childhood. I have been racking my brain as to the best way to use the jam. Last week I spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen trying out new recipes for my bread baking courses and whilst I was making cardamom scented buns I thought about using the jam as a filling for a ginger flavoured bun. Rhubarb and ginger are one of my favourite flavour pairings. They were very tasty but because I made them in a whirl shape a lot of the jam escaped during baking, so I am back to the drawing board with that one. I think if I make a bun that is more like a doughnut with the jam enclosed that will work better. More experimentation will take place later this week.
On Sunday I was making dinner for Mothering Sunday and so was thinking of a dessert that would make use of the jam. I was tempted by roly poly and Manchester Tart but as I was looking through the index of Dorothy Hartley’s Food in England I noticed her recipe for Aromatic Shropshire Pudding with Brandy. I am not sure how I have missed this recipe before, being a Shropshire Lass through and through. My version is based loosely on Dorothy’s recipe, her version has no jam in it, but as it is a steamed pudding and I seem incapable of following other people’s recipes I thought why not? I didn’t have any brandy either so I swapped that for some dessert wine that I have sitting on the top of the cupboard. I swapped suet for butter too. Dorothy suggests serving it with brandy butter because in her words “(T)his is brown and aromatic, and, served with this butter and sugar, makes a good pudding for a frosty day”, I made proper custard. I did say it was loosely based on Dorothy’s recipe.
This recipe is a good way of using up stale bread and is very much like a sponge steamed pudding. I had some cold today with fridge cold cream and it was just as delicious in a different way.
60g light brown sugar
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 generous teaspoon brandy, dessert wine or liqueur of your choice
2 eggs, beaten with 1-2 tbsp of water
I made this in a food processor by putting the breadcrumbs and butter into the processor and whizzing it, then adding the sugar, nutmeg, brandy/dessert wine and the beaten egg mixture and whizzing briefly again.
You can make it without a food processor by grating the cold butter into fine breadcrumbs and then adding the rest of the ingredients and using your hands to bring it all together. The mixture should be quite moist.
Butter an ovenproof bowl that has a 1-pint (500ml) capacity and spoon the jam into the bottom of the bowl. Place the mixture on top of the jam. Cut a large square of greaseproof paper and fold a pleat in the middle of it. Tie securely with string, preferably making a handle with the string. Place a trivet in the bottom of a large saucepan. Put the pudding in and carefully pour hot water in to cover the bowl by three-quarters. Cover the pan tightly with a lid and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer and simmer for three hours.
Lift the bowl carefully out of the water. Remove the paper. Invert a serving plate onto the top of the bowl and turn the pudding out. Be careful as sometimes it can pop out and splash hot jam at you. Serve with cream, custard or brandy butter.
Duerrs sent me a free sample of their jam to try. All opinions are my own and honest.
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