Now that Ramadan is over, it’s easier to get my regular sourdough bread, yippee! One day when Mr.O failed his morning mission of getting bread and came home with normal bread, I couldn’t eat more than one slice and left the rest on the kitchen top to go stale on purpose. It sometimes amazes how cooks’ mind scans the foods in the fridge and pantry mentally and synchronize their actions according to what they are going to make without hard thinking. Upon seeing a leftover loaf and pide bread sitting around, Mr.O bugged me to throw them away and he did the pide bread secretly. I even save the whey liquid after yogurt has been eaten, and he doesn’t understand why I keep all that little things. Everything comes in handy for cooks, and that’s why!
Two bags of damson plums picked from Mr.O’s parents’ garden were clogging up the fridge because Mr.O doesn’t like plums. He prefers peaches, which have started to come out, giving these plums no chance to be eaten as we only eat peaches nowadays. I managed to make a lazy version of plum clafoutis last week and this week is a proper bread and butter pudding. Bread and butter pudding is one of the best culinary inventions the English have made and it’s so delicious and comforting.
The purple plums turned seductively red while the bread was being soaked in the egg and yogurt mixture. Yogurt? Yes, I don’t keep milk in the fridge and I make much use of yogurt in baking and cooking, but rarely eating on its own except for breakfast.
I also didn’t have enough eggs but I saw one turkey egg I got from, of course, Mr.O’s dad. He encourages my enthusiasm for cooking by providing me with interesting and irresistible fresh produce. I’d never eaten turkey eggs before, though I had pheasant, quail and goose eggs. The yolks of turkey eggs are richer and I could feel the heaviness when whisking.
I don’t need to describe how good it was, do I? How can it be bad? Oh, delicious! My way of making this pudding is a bit different and for one, it’s made with fresh fruit instead of dried fruit, typically raisins. I cooked the whole plums, unpitted as I would’ve done with cherries. These plums were as small as cherries and I couldn’t dare to pit them diligently as I would do in normal circumstance, taking it as a kind of meditation and mind-focusing. The photo below is the cherry pancake I made one morning, inspired by mixing pancake and clafoutis ideas together. It was so delicious – what is not, when egg, butter and flour are mixed – and I think I can probably do it again with plums for breakfast to dispose the last remaining plums.
Please excuse my primitive method of pitting cherries with a cake tester and forgive me for not having a pitter, while claiming to be a cook. I will one day though. Slowly by slowly….. as the Turks say. Since I’m working against the clock these days, I didn’t pit them but honestly there is no need for it. When the plums are cooked, the pits just come away as you eat.
I arranged the bread pieces around the baking dish, so that it would somehow resemble a tart. Actually, when Mr.O saw it, he said, “Oh, plum tart!” I couldn’t resist it when it came out of the oven and had one serving for my afternoon coffee break, pausing to rest my fingers thumping on the laptop.
Oh, it was divine. How can humble bread pudding be so divine? Well, you’ll have to try it for yourself! Perhaps, it is because of the turkey egg? Haha… anyway, I can possibly eat the whole dish by myself. Mr.O even asked if he could have it for breakfast the next morning after eating it the night before, just a few hours ago. Well, I didn’t say this to him but I felt the same. He justified his argument by saying that this was like eating eggy bread with jam. In fact, it’s truth, but there is a distinction between french toast with jam and bread butter pudding. However, his remark got me thinking, “Why not for breakfast? Why not with banana next time?”
Living in different cultures opens up to new ideas and this is a good example why multiculturalism creates a world cuisine. Sometimes I lose the concept of original by mixing this and that, but does it matter what comes from where? Is it important for national identity? I keep asking myself, reading “Silk Road Gourmet” and “Ancient History Encyclopedia“
Bread Butter Pudding with Plums
2-3 cups Damson plums
5-6 slices of stale bread
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups (350g) yogurt, more or less (Use milk if you have)
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar ( 2 Tbsp (30g) more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 pod of vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1. Spread as much butter as you like on bread slices, both sides, and cut them into pieces in any size you prefer.
2. Whisk eggs, sugar, yogurt, vanilla and nutmeg and place the bread in the custard mixture and let it drench for 30-1 hour.
3. While waiting, heat the oven to 180’C and grease the bottom and the sides of a baking dish with butter and place the plums in it and bake for 15-20 mins.
4. Arrange each soggy bread piece around the sides and place the rest over the plums – push some pieces into the bottom. 5. Bake for 3o-35 mins. Serve immediately or warm with fresh cream or ice cream.
You might also like “Plum Upside Down Cake“.