Easter feasting is some of my favourite – roast pork, honey carrots, dippy eggs! Every year I get all inspired by those damn ‘Easter baking!’ Jamie Oliver leaflets in the supermarket and think I’ll totally make this and that and do alllll the Easter crafts with my compliant children…
This year we’ve had a busy (and sad…) lead up to Easter, with no real plans for the long weekend shaping up until just now in the preceding few days. Often we can be found down by the sea at our other home-away-from-home, inhaling Matt’s aunty’s hot cross buns, or sometimes we’re down the creek in my family’s vague attempt at ‘camping’. Fish on Good Friday is a given, good Catholics and all that, but as far as Easter ‘traditions’ when it comes to food…it’s all a bit loose and last minute generally. Which is just what the Easter long weekend is for – resting and not many plans and Winter preparations.
Usually every year I have a crack at making my own hot cross buns, and mostly they are of varying states, I do think I’m improving but when we have a fabulous bun baker in the family (with 30+ years experience of Easter buns under her belt) I don’t really see the point?! So, no buns this year from the Brindabella kitchen. But…let there be pudding!
I’m a traditionalist through and through when it comes to my hot cross buns, but this is the only – ONLY – instance I think choc-chip hot cross buns (or, shock horror, fruitless! Yes I’m looking at you my sister’s husband) are permissible. In fact I wrote ‘choc chip hot cross buns’ on the shopping list with this very Easter dessert in mind and my husband called me from the supermarket very perplexed. Yup. Who even am I?!
A hot cross bun pudding is somewhat like a bread and butter pudding – same principle, but with added Easter goodness. I threw in hints of orange and cardamon and vanilla to mine, works well with the chocolate and keeps a spiced tradition to the buns. Pop this in the oven sometime over the long weekend, it’s really easy and really yummy, leftover buns are perfect for this. A bit past it and stale? No worries. This could just be the start of an Easter food tradition for your family, and maybe ours too…
Hot Cross Pudding
6-9 choc-chip hot cross buns
Zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cream
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Handful of chopped walnuts
Combine the orange zest, sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat, stir until combined and thickened slightly. Add the eggs, cream, brandy, cardamon, cinnamon and vanilla, whisking over medium heat for a few minutes to create a custard.
Slice the hot cross buns in half and place in an ovenproof dish, pour half the custard mixture over the buns and then sprinkle with the walnuts. Arrange the tops of the hot cross buns on top and pour the remaining custard over them.
Leave to stand for 20 minutes for the buns to soak up the custard. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees in a water bath (place the ovenproof dish inside a bigger baking tray of water). Again let stand to ‘settle’ the pudding for 10 minutes before serving.
Our Easter plans involve some time at home, a visit from Grandi, more firewood chopping, more baking, more resting for the sick little ones (here comes the Winter coughs and sniffles…) as well as a trip down to Inverloch to see the cousin crew and hopefully snag one of Jenni’s hot cross buns. I hope your Easter is spent doing the same – sharing eggs and buns, resting as well as hopping about to family. Happy Easter from our little bunnies to yours…