I know you can’t really have ‘leftover’ hot cross buns; they’re always good toasted and buttered, even a couple days old. But if you can no longer justify eating them for breakfast past Easter Monday, or perhaps if you’re looking for an Easter Sunday dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate, this might be just the thing for you. If you already have a beloved bread and butter pudding recipe you can of course use that and simply substitute the buns for your bread, but I would suggest adding the orange zest to your custard mixture as it brings out the mixed peel and spices in the buns beautifully. The base recipe here is from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion, always an excellent reference book for reliable recipes to build upon.
- Butter, to spread
- 4 hot cross buns (1 per person)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cream (or use the whole 300ml tub and put in 50ml less milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbs fortified wine (port or sherry – if it’s adults only)
- 1/4 cup castor sugar
- White sugar to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 160°.
Cut the buns into three thin slices and toast lightly in the oven. Spread liberally with butter and place into a dish of around 1 litre capacity.
Mix the eggs, zest, milk, cream, castor sugar, vanilla and fortified wine together and pour over and around the bread. Let it sit for 15 minutes to absorb the custard.
Sprinkle with the white sugar and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until it looks firm on the top. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
While it’s not the most attractive of desserts, it will get wolfed down in appreciative silence!