Most of us (those in our thirties, or those a little elder to us) have some memory of this easy pudding made at home during their growing up years. I still remember crowding around the round table-top oven with glass lid, and peering through it – as if, the harder I stared, the faster it would get cooked. In winters, the heat emanating from the oven created a cozy aura around it. In fact, the oven was used more by ma in winter for cakes and baked casserole kinds of dishes. Coming back to the pudding, ma mostly used vanilla to drown the smell of eggs, but I use nothing – mostly because the spouse doesn’t like the smell of vanilla, and I do not have other kinds of essence at home. But at times, I use a little coffee powder for some extra flavor. Coming from a home with diabetics, I have long let go the caramel version of pudding, substituting sugar free for sugar in the basic recipe. But you may caramelize sugar and add to your pudding for more colour and sweetness, and of course a little variation in flavour.
- Bread Slices – about 4 big slices – sides discarded
- Milk – 1 litre
- Sugar – to taste
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – ¼ cup (optional)
- Eggs – 4/5 beaten well
- Vanilla Essence / coffee powder / any essence of your choice – a little
- Butter – to grease the baking pan
- Boil milk. Let it turn lukewarm.
- Take a cup of milk. Add the bread to it a blend well.
- Take the beaten eggs (in a bowl), add the flavouring, mix well.
- Now add to it, the cup of milk with bread. Whisk well to avoid any lumps.
- If you are using condensed milk, now is the time to blend it in.
- Now stir in this entire mixture to the rest of the milk.
- Add sweetener (sugar/ sugar free) to taste.
- Stir well.
- Melt butter and grease your baking tray.
- Pour the mixture in the tray.
- Preheat oven. Bake till done (knife should come out clean upon insertion) – about 40/45 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can bake in microwave too, if yours has the option.
- Or you may steam in pressure cooker or steamer.
- Bring to room temperature.
- Put in fridge and chill for a couple of hours.
- Take out from fridge, insert knife all around the edges to loosen a little from the tray.
- Take a plate, put it over your baking tray, and invert the whole set up upside down. This should pop the pudding from the tray to the plate.