There's nothing I love more than making a fabulous dish out of what would otherwise be odds and ends destined for the bin. This recipe, from Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy, has fast become my favourite for using up blackened bananas. It's a scrummy alternative to the usual banana bread or muffins.
I'm terrible for not being able to throw anything away and managed to whip this up from various bits and pieces lurking in the back of my fridge. I like to keep the end crusts of loaves of bread in my freezer, though they usually get kept for breadcrumbs they worked really well in this, left out on the side for a while beforehand to go slightly stale they soaked up the custard beautifully. I also replaced the creme fraiche with half a tin of evaporated milk and I had 4 eggs whites that got thrown in instead of whole eggs. I was a bit worried when I mixed it all together, mainly that the custard wouldn't set properly, but I put it in the oven with fingers crossed and it emerged a wonderful golden brown and really exceeded my expectations. I've never really been a bread pudding fan but this was delicious. I served it with a little more (extra thick!) double cream and some maple syrup but I'd definitely love to try it again with a little vanilla ice cream.
Perfect now it's getting chilly : )
75g butter, at room temperature
1 medium loaf of crusty white bread, cut into 8-10 slices
400ml double cream
300ml creme fraiche
75g soft light brown sugar, plus 25g extra sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, peeled and cut into slices
100g pecan nuts
Preheat the oven to 180c (350F), Gas Mark 4. Grease your ovenproof dish with a little of the butter.
Use the remaining butter to butter the bread slices on one side. Cut the slices in half diagonally and arrange them in the prepared baking dish.
Next put the cream, creme fraiche, the 75g sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs in a large jug and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and well mixed.
Now put the banana slices and pecans between the slices of bread. Pour the liquid over the bread and allow it to soak in for a few seconds, then use the back of a spoon to squidge everything down into the liquid. Finally scatter the remaining sugar evenly over the top. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture has just set and looks nicely caramelised. Serve at once.