When someone says ‘Birmingham’s traditional cuisine‘ you generally think Cadbury’s chocolate, curry from the Balti Triangle, Bird’s custard, HP sauce, pork scratchings or a dripping sandwich. These are all dishes or foods which we know quite well even today. You go a few miles down the road and you come to the Black Country – the traditional cuisine here ties closely with the area’s industrial heritage and working class history. You come across dishes such as faggots and peas, groaty dick and grey peas & bacon. Dishes that are slightly less known to foreigners but now renowned across the whole Midlands. One of such dishes is definitely the traditional Black Country bread pudding.
In the 18th and 19th century the bread pudding was one of the most filling dishes for people who would spend long hours every day working their hardest to earn a living. What’s interesting is that back in the day the recipe would use water instead of milk, lard instead of butter and significantly less sugar (obviously).
The Black Country Bread Pudding
Especially delicious with fresh custard!
- 500 g white bread
- 500 g mixed dried fruit
- 1 1/2 tbsp mixed spice
- 600 ml milk
- 3 eggs
- 140 g muscovado sugar
- 100 g unsalted melted butter
- demerara sugar
Break up the bread (stale bread will also do) in a large mixing bowl.
Add the fruit, spice, milk and mush it all up with your hands.
Add beaten eggs, muscovado sugar and melted butter. Mix again.
Pour the mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle some demerara sugar on top.
Preheat the over to 180°C and bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden. Serve with custard or ice cream.