There is a tradition in our family at Easter that involves everyone freezing their hands off at the top of a hill in Perthshire. You see, for some unknown reason we’ve by-passed a leg of lamb in a warm kitchen for a chilly picnic in the April wind. Because it is always windy on Easter Sunday and our walk always ends up with me hanging off the end of a picnic table bench, fighting with kids for the least bashed boiled egg (and inevitably, losing!).
However, we return to this scenario year after year because A) I am a sucker for tradition and rolling eggs with my kids is one I’d happily do in any weather. And B) I always make sure there is a comfort-fuelled treat waiting for our return. Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding!
Anyone who reads the column regularly will know I love my old fashioned comfort foods and bread and Butter Pudding is one of my favourites. The version from my childhood was made with white bread, crusts on and cooked in a metal tin with blue edging. Today chefs have introduced everything from brioche and bananas to caramelised sauces and fresh vanilla pods. This pudding of the poor man has been deconstructed, cooked in individual pots and dare I say it, egg washed with the brush of modern day cooking pretension!
This Easter themed one does a have a little of the modern-day variation about it but its still about using up what’s there – namely hot cross buns and Easter eggs! Butter your buns and tear into large chunks before lining them up round an ovenproof bowl. Mix up millk, cream and sugar into a jug and pour over the buns – be generous with your liquid. Add a couple of dollops of butter to the top – you’ve burned off your calories climbing that hill remember! Pop it into the fridge to soak while you’re out freezing yourself to a chef shaped icicle on a hillside.
When you return, pop it into a hot oven (modern day cooks will have text to turn it on from the car) and 30 minutes later you’ll be enjoying an Easter treat that will beat any leg of lamb hands down. My kids love this and even my stealing of the best boiled eggs is forgiven as I dish it up from my old metal oven dish, smile on face as I pass my own family’s Easter tradition.
TOP TIP: Buy a good quality vanilla icecream and crush Easter Egg chocolate or sweeties into it. Mix well and serve with the hot Bread and Butter Pudding for an extra-sugar fuelled treat!