8 hot cross buns, each sliced into 3 pieces through the middle
60 grams butter, at room temperature
¼ cup raisins or sultanas, optional
2 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup caster sugar
1–2 tablespoons icing sugar
softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
15cm x 25cm (or equivalent) baking dish (I used a big loaf tin)
large roasting dish
Easter is one of my absolute favourite times of the year – the air is a little crisper, the days are often clear but the evenings darken a little earlier and comfort food is once again on the menu. Whether you have hot cross buns left over or need to buy them on purpose, this twist on bread and butter pudding makes a fabulous finish to an Easter feast.
Use a little of the butter to lightly grease a 15cm x 25cm baking dish. Spread remaining butter on one side of each of the bun slices and layer them into the dish. It's nicest if you don't have the top too neat – the crunchy pokey-outy bits are extra good with the custard base. Sprinkle over raisins or sultanas, if using.
Beat milk, cream, yolks, eggs, vanilla, zest and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Meanwhile, pour the custard mixture over buns and leave to soak in for half an hour.
Put the baking dish in a large roasting dish and pour boiling water in to come half way up the sides. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake another 20–25 minutes until the top is golden and the custard is set.
Remove the baking dish from the water bath and leave to cool/set for a minute or two before serving dusted in icing sugar with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.