berry muffins I made a while ago. I was the only person around to eat the muffins at the time and so couldn’t get through more than 3-4 before they started to go a bit past their best. Normally I freeze any cakes or cookies I don’t think I’ll eat in time, and then get them out later as and when needed. However, when I went to put the muffins in the freezer, it seems I have been putting more in than I have been taking out as they wouldn’t fit! I don’t want you to think I have a freezer full of cakes and cookies, there were plenty of other things in there too – bags of berries, cartons of homemade soup, meals etc. Either way, it was time to come up with a plan B.
Recently I had been day dreaming about trying to create a gluten free bread and butter pudding and hit upon the idea to make a denser bread pudding and to use the muffins in place of bread. The more I thought about it the more the ideal appealed and I set about doing a little research into bread pudding recipes.
Bread pudding turns out to be a bit of a minefield when it comes to specific recipes. I found some that called for cubes or bread to be baked in a custard, others crumbled them into crumbs and created a mush which was baked into something much sturdier. Some were custard based, others used water, milk or even tea as a socking liquid. The baking times also varied enormously. Some called for a hot oven and a short time, other a much cooler oven and a long bake. Anything from 25mins to 2.5hours! Some were dense and served in squares, others lighter and served with a spoon. This also includes side stepping all the bread and butter puddings which are completely different.
A few bleary eyed hours later I formulated my own recipe, picking and choosing the best aspects of various different recipes I liked. I decided to use milk as my soaking liquid and to crumble the muffins into fine crumbs as I wanted to end up with a denser, sliceable pudding. I added a little jam for extra fruity sweetness and some sultanas to add a dried fruit chew. Mixed spice and almond extract for flavour and just a tiny amount of flour to bind it all together.
I decided on a long slow bake for my pudding, as the mixture was very wet and I wanted to ensure I ended up with something that was not only cooked, but that could be served and held in slices. It was a little trial and error going along, but my finished pudding was delightful.
The outer edges of the pudding had gone wonderfully thick and chewy, while the middle was softer, more tender and studded with moist juicy fruits and crumbs. I adored the almond flavour, it really shone through and went so well with the fruits and spices.
I love how it looks quite plain from the outside and yet is so colourful and inviting once sliced into. Delicious and the perfect way to use up some leftover muffins or cakes you might have lingering around. Success!
Berry & Almond Muffin ‘Bread’ Pudding
600g leftover fruit muffins, around 7
50g gluten free self raising flour
1tbsp raspberry jam
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp almond extract
1tbsp sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 8inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper, letting it drape up two opposite sides of the tin, which will help you remove the pudding once baked.
Tear the muffins into small chunks and add to a bowl along with the spices, almond extract and sultanas. Pour over the milk and mix together briefly. Then set aside for 10minutes.
Beat the eggs and jam together before stirring into the muffin mix. It should become very soft and mushy at this stage and look quite unappetising, but this is fine. Finally scatter the flour over the top and mix together.
Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Scatter over the caster sugar and cover the tin with a foil.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, before removing the foil and leaving to bake for a further 40 minutes.
It should be a dark golden brown colour on top and feel firm to the touch.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15minutes, before running a knife around the edge and removing from the tin with the help of the greaseproof paper.
Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into 12-16 pieces.
Store at room in an airtight container and eat within 3 days.
Can also be heated and served with custard.