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Mincemeat Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients

  • cup chopped ready to eat dried apricots or dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brandy Cointreau or Grand Mariner
  • 12 slices of good white bread
  • cup butter softened + extra for greasing the dish
  • 1 to 1½ cups mincemeat
  • cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • cups double heavy cream
  • cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons demerera sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 160°C for a fan oven).
  • Butter a large oval or rectangular oven safe casserole that is not too deep. It should be about 12 to 14 inches (20 - 25 cm) long and about 9 to 10 inches (30 - 35cm) wide.
  • Put the apricots or dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover them with the brandy, Cointreau or Grand Mariner. Set aside.
  • Butter the bread on one side and then make six sandwiches using the mincemeat. Keep the mincemeat away from the edges of the bread.
  • Cut the crusts off the sandwiches and cut each sandwich diagonally in four triangles.
  • Lay the sandwich triangles one by one in the dish, overlapping them slightly. I like to alternate alternate pointed side up with straight side up, but this is strictly optional. You can leave them all pointed side up if you prefer.
  • Scatter the dried apricots or cranberries over the bread and pour over any remaining liqueur as well.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl.
  • Add the cream, milk and vanilla and beat together well.
  • Pour the cream and egg mixture slowly over the mincemeat sandwiches and dried fruit, making sure that all the bread is coated with the liquid.
  • Leave to stand for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.
  • Mix the demerera sugar and mixed spice together and sprinkle over the top of the bread and butter pudding.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the custard is risen and relatively firm and the pudding is golden.
  • Serve warm with cream or good vanilla ice cream.
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