In the colder months, this is one of the consistent favourites at Cafe St Honoré. Full of sweet, vanilla flavours and rich custard, it’s the perfect way to use up stale bread. With the addition of plumped-up, juicy Californian raisins and a touch of mixed peel, it’s a warm and welcoming friend when it’s chilly outside. It is a rich one this, so don't eat too much, and serve with a little pouring cream at most.
Half a loaf of leftover bread, crusts removed. Panettone or brioche are also good.
250g unsalted butter, melted
500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 small handful of Californian raisins and mixed peel
2 tbsp jam or marmalade, warmed. I like home-made plum jam.
Rub an ovenproof dish with a little of the melted butter.
Slice the bread 1cm thick and submerge in the melted butter.
To make the custard, heat the cream and the vanilla pod on the stove until it comes to the boil, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy, and whisk into the cream. Whisk in the whole egg as well.
Layer the butter-soaked bread with the custard and raisins and mixed peel, repeating until you reach the top of the dish. Don't put fruit on the top layer as it will burn in the oven.
Bake in an oven at 180°C for 45 minutes until hot. Top with a few more raisins and mixed peel, then spoon warm jam over the top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.