Winter Pudding with Caramel Sauce

11:05 am on 27 July 2009

Chef/owner of  Zibibbo restaurant and bar, Wellington. 

This is my take on the classic summer pudding, but here I've adapted it for winter using a mixture of autumn fruits. If you prefer, make it using just one kind of fruit and serve it with caramel sauce or a good quality vanilla-bean ice cream.

Recipe from Dine In by Adam Newell, published by New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd.

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

French Toast

  • 500ml milk
  • 100ml cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 60g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 18 slices white sandwich bread
  • 50g butter

Fruit Filling

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 50g butter
  • 60g castor sugar
  • 6 dried mission figs, roughly chopped
  • 6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 100ml cream
  • 12 tbsp chopped walnuts (if desired)

Caramel Sauce

  • 500g castor sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 750ml cream
  • 35mm round pastry cutter
  • 5-6cm baking ring

Method

Mix together the milk and cream, then whisk in the eggs. Add the sugar and cinnamon and transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.

Using a 35mm cutter, cut out a disc from each slice of bread and dip in the egg mixture. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the bread discs on both sides until golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Peel and core the apple and pear and cut into small dice. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and place in a non-stick pan with the butter over a medium heat and lightly fry it (this will give it a toasty flavour). When the butter is foaming add the diced apple and pear and the sugar and cook until soft and golden. Add the figs and dates and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the honey into the pan and cook until it has melted. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Lower the heat and cook until the liquid has reduced and is nicely glazed around the fruit. Remove from the heat.

Place a disc of French toast in the bottom of a 5–6cm ring, top with the fruit and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if using. Repeat with two more layers of the same. Sprinkle 2 tablespoonfuls of walnuts over each one (if using), gently press down and bake for 20 minutes until hot.

To make the sauce, gently caramelise the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan until golden brown in colour. Add the butter and stir for 30 seconds. Slowly add the cream, mixing continuously while the sauce comes to the boil. Pass through a sieve.

To Serve

Remove the puddings from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before arranging on individual plates and removing the rings to reveal well-defined layers of fruit and bread with a crunchy walnut top. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve with your favourite ice cream.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Dessert Wine
Wishart Camaraderie Dessert Merlot
Richmond Plains Aries 2008

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