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Back to basics:
Fruity Bread and Butter Pudding
An Irish country kitchen classic that should have a soft set texture with an exquisitely light spicing of nutmeg and vanilla, a few finely chopped prunes and sultanas and a wonderful buttery top.
To make it even more delicious, try making it with day-old croissants or brioche.
300ml (½ pint) milk
150ml (¼ pint) cream
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
50g (2oz) caster sugar
250g (9oz) sliced white bread (6 slices)
75g (3oz) butter, softened, extra for greasing
75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried prunes, finely chopped
75g (3oz) sultanas
good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp marmalade
icing sugar, to dust pouring cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Lightly butter an ovenproof dish that’s about 25cm x 16cm (10in x 6in) and 2.5cm (1in) deep.
Beat the eggs, milk and cream together in a large jug. Mix together the lemon rind and juice, vanilla seeds and sugar in a small bowl and then add to the egg mixture, beating lightly to
Spread the slices of bread with the softened butter and cut off the crusts, then cut into triangles.
Scatter half of the prunes and sultanas into the bottom of the buttered dish and arrange a layer of the bread triangles on top. Pour over half of the egg mixture, pressing the bread down gently, then repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients and sprinkle the nutmeg on top.
Place the dish into a roasting tin and fill with warm water until it comes three-quarters of the way up the dish. Bake for 30–35 minutes, until just set.
Meanwhile, sieve the marmalade and then heat it in a small pan. Brush the top of the cooked pudding with the marmalade to form a nice glaze when it comes out of the oven. Dust lightly with icing sugar.
To serve, cut into slices while still warm and arrange on warmed serving plates with pouring cream or ice cream.