After a somewhat blah day, the thing you need or rather should need, is a comforting bowl of pudding. Give yourself five minutes of silence to eat it slowly and wantonly and forget the day. Alternatively, it is also a great stress buster to make. It’s one of those hard-to-mess up recipes since all the ingredients are pretty much assembled rather than fussed over. Once you know the principle of a custard- which is basically eggs, milk, sugar and a flavour addition- you really can’t go wrong.
The bread pudding you are looking at here is a slight variation on the classic. It uses parsi ‘Laganu Custard’ flavours to bring about a certain richness and warm spiciness that I personally love; Nutmeg, cardamom and Charoli – an indigenous Indian nut that is possibly the only expensive part of the dish. But you can easily substitute it for slivered almonds or cashews too.
This is a dessert you must add to your repertoire especially if you’re entertaining. It’s easy to make and pretty impressive.
And while the world has moved on to chocolate domes and fancy jar desserts, there is something very welcoming and warm about a good old-fashioned bread pudding that is hard to resist.
Laganu Custard Bread Pudding Recipe
Prep time – 15 mins Cook time 45 mins
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
2 local Pavs (bread) or 5 slices bread (a few days stale is ok)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pods small cardamoms crushed (optional)
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ tablespoons charoli/ chopped almonds or cashews (or even a combination if you like)
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 180 for about 12- 15 minutes. Pour the milk into a pan and place it on medium high heat. When it starts to simmer add the sugar and keep stirring till dissolved. Take care not to boil the milk. If it does, reduce the heat and continue to stir. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs till lightly frothy. Take the pan with the milk off the heat and in a slow and steady flow, add the milk to the eggs while beating the eggs vigorously. This is called tempering- where you are actually getting the hot liquid into eggs without scrambling them. You’re merely raising the temperature of the eggs slowly.
Once all the milk is incorporated into the eggs, break the bread slices into small pieces and put them into this mix so that the bread is totally soaked into it.
Add the nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom powder and chopped nuts (whichever you’re using). Pour the mixture into a baking pan. Dot the surface of the mixture with butter. And put into the oven for about 45 mins, Check halfway to ensure even browning. If you’re pudding is not browned even after 45 minutes, raise the temperature to 200 after 45 minutes of cooking and use only the top grill. Grill for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove, cool and enjoy. Personally I like my pudding cold, but I know many people who find the warmth comforting.