The Ultimate Bread Pudding

This is an old pioneer recipe that I adapted when we worked on movie catering trucks. The addition of the Bird’s Custard Powder is one of its secrets, adding a rich taste. I like the versatility of it too; you can vary the fruit and spices to your liking for your own version. The last time I made it I used pears, tropical baby bananas and chocolate. It was divine with some warm caramel sauce.

bread pudding

2 eggs

2 tbsp Bird’s Custard powder

½ cup sugar

2 cups milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest (TIP: zest the lemon first, then cut for juicing)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger (this is not a misprint – if you don’t like ginger too much, substitute 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)

4-6 pieces candied ginger, finely chopped (optional for you ginger haters out there)

10 slices whole wheat bread, cubed (white bread or buns may be substituted for a fluffier pudding)

2 cups apple, chopped (you can substitute pears if you want)

1 cup raisins or dried cherries (or go decadent and use 1 cup chocolate chips)


Grease a shallow casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat eggs, custard powder, sugar and milk in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and zest and spices and mix again. Fold bread cubes, fruit and dried fruit into this mixture and set aside for 15-30 minutes. (*Pudding can be refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning if you wish. Just note if you are baking it cold it will take a few more minutes in cooking time.)

Pour pudding into casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes covered with a lid or tinfoil, then bake a further 10-15 minutes uncovered. Top should be golden brown, and pudding should be set (not sloppy when the bowl is moved.) If you have a thermometer, you want it to be 180F.

Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream to dress it up if you want. If you want a decadent dessert, serve with caramel sauce. Your guests may want to lick the bowls after that. If you have any left over, store it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3 days, but you’ll probably have snuck back to finish it off before then.

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