Orange Bread & Butter Pudding (with cardamom & saffron)

Orange bread & butter pudding, with saffron and cardamom

The other day a few Jatinga oranges came my way. For those of us who grew up in the district of Dima Hasao (erswhile North Cachar Hills) in Assam, the mention of the name ‘Jatinga’ evokes fond memories. Many are of the luscious oranges and other wonderful agricultural produce. And also of innumerable winter picnics on the banks of its gurgling waters. But otherwise, the world knows this pretty village, inhabited by the Jaintia people as a place of bird deaths.

Anyway, coming back to my post, I was reminded of a bread pudding I had made earlier. And I couldn’t wait to make the same. The recipe used typical spices that one would find in an Indian dessert. I referred to my old post but halved the recipe and also made a few additions. So here goes…..

The stages of making this pudding, adapted from a recipe by ‘The Incredible Spice Men’

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices bread (a day old)
  • 45 grams butter, at room temperature+ a little extra to grease the baking pan
  • 21/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 orange, the zest and the juice
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • A pinch of saffron
  • A handful of raisins, wash and pat dry
  • Orange marmalade for the glaze
  • Candied roses
  • Chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top
  • Whipped cream to serve it with 

Put the milk on the boil and let it thicken a bit. Keep about 2 tbs aside to soak the saffron strands.
Add the sugar and stir well.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour the hot milk over it whisking all the time.
Add the crushed cardamom pods.
Leave to infuse as you prepare the bread slices.
Remove the brown edges and butter each slice. Cut diagonally in half.
Grease the baking pan and arrange the bread slices with the buttered side up.
Scatter the raisins across the pan. Strain the egg/milk mixture and pour it over the bread slices.
Leave to soak for about an hour. In between, use the back of a spoon to gently push the bread downwards so that more of the egg/milk mix is absorbed.
With a teaspoon, add the saffron/milk mix right on top. Scatter the orange zest on the surface.
Pour the oranges juice all over the top as well. The orange yielded 1/4 cup of juice.
The little bit of butter that remains can also be added in little dots across the baking pan.
Preheat the oven to 180 C . Place the baking pan on the tray. Pour hot water in the tray and bake for about 40 minutes till the top is golden.

After it comes out of the oven, heat about a tablespoon of orange marmalade. Using a pastry brush, spread the marmalade all across the surface for that gloss and glaze. Let it cool down a bit. Then add the chopped pistachios and the candied roses, torn into bits. Cut into wedges and serve with a dollop of cream on top. Tastes so good when still slightly warm. And the hint of orange from the zest and the juice that comes through the saffron and the cardamom makes this one truly refreshing and satisfying dessert!

A similar post with double the amount of ingredients was adapted from a recipe by “The Incredible Spice Men’ a TV series that I really enjoyed watching.

My earlier post:

Bread & Butter Pudding With Oranges, Cardamom, and Saffron

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