What you will need for the pudding
- 8 x croissants – either fresh or stale
- 6 large free-range eggs
- 125 g caster sugar
- 500 ml semi-skimmed milk
- A good handful of sultanas
- 1 Large Orange – squeezed and zested
- 500 ml single cream
- 1 vanilla pod , scored lengthways and seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons good-quality marmalade.
- l like Oxford Thick Cut but not everyone does and so choose the one you like best….( after all, its you who’s cooking it!)
- OPTIONAL…. A sprinkle of Cinnamon ( but only if you are American)
and now, to start…..
Preheat the oven to 180ºC or Gas 4. Use a little butter to grease your medium-sized shallow, ovenproof dish.
Slice the Croissant – butter and spread the marmalade inside and then put back together, then cut in half . Put the pieces in your buttered dish – filling it up and working them in to completely fill it as much as possible. Think of it like a Jigsaw because it wont be easy matching up crescent shaped croissants! Throw over, with wild abandon, your sultanas… think of it ….like scattering corn seeds.
Side note….And for the Americans, now is fine to add that Cinnamon that you seem to add to everything
Now separate the eggs, reserving all 6 yolks but just 1 egg white. Whisk together the egg yolks and egg white with the sugar and put to one side. (Those of you with cholesterol problems, take a deep breath and close.
Gently heat the milk and cream in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and pod. (Yes it is a sort of CREME ANGLAISE and a bit of a fag but well worth the extra time and effort! )Once heated, pour into the eggs, stirring all the time as we don’t want it to separate or curdle.. Remove the vanilla pod ( if you can still find it ) then pour the mixture over the Croissants and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. The idea of using the Croissants instead of Bread slices is that the Pudding becomes light and fluffy and full of air. Its also not so heavy and certainly not indigestible, so you don’t need to be looking for the Gavescon beforehand..
Put the dish into a larger roasting tray and pour in enough boiling water to steam this dish but not so much it boils up and overflows into the pudding! Or, if you are really posh, just get your Bain Marie out. Put it in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the custard has just set. Its fine to open the oven occasionally and stick your finger in it to see if the custard is beginning to set.
Meanwhile, take yet another saucepan (!) to heat the marmalade. If you dont want to dirty yet another pan, then put it in a dish and steam in a pan of water, rather like melting chocolate. To your melted Marmalade add your squeezed orange juice and the zest ( No pith as it makes it bitter ) Once this is done, remove the dish from the oven ( but only when it is almost cooked, remember ) and brush your marmalade ” stock” over the top of the Croissants. Pop the dish back into the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes to allow a lovely sweet sugary crust to form and it to turn deliciously brown.
Remove from oven, allow it to cool so that it firms up slightly before serving. It should be firm and squidgy all at the same time with a delightful marmalade crust on the top.
Cut into generous servings and then for your finale… pour another generous helping of cream or “proper” British custard over the top.
With thanks to Steve of Gladstone Library for this super recipe! Gladstone Library