Slow baking will produce a pudding with a smooth, velvety texture.
"The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008.
|2 tbsp butter, plus more for the pan||3/4 cup half-and-half|
|5 slices day-old white sandwich bread||1/3 cup sugar|
|1/3 cup raisins||1 tsp pure vanilla extract|
|3 large eggs||1/4 cup apricot preserves|
|1 1/4 cups whole milk||2 tsp fresh lemon juice|
Lightly butter an 8in (20cm) square baking dish. Butter one side of each bread slice. Cut each slice in half diagonally, and then again.
Sprinkle the raisins on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with overlapping bread slices, buttered sides down. Beat together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the dish in a roasting pan and add enough water to reach 1in (2.5cm) up the sides of the baking dish. Bake 30–40 minutes, until the center is barely set.
Meanwhile, bring the preserves, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Strain. Brush the mixture over the top of the pudding. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve hot.
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