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Easter recipe – hot cross bun and butter pudding

A hot cross bun is served on a blue china plate. Beside it is the National Trust for Scotland logo in icing sugar. There is a scoop of ice cream on top of the bun, and a small jug of custard beside it on the plate.
Hot cross bun and butter pudding at Newhailes
Head Chef Ivor at Newhailes House & Gardens shares a great way to use up leftover hot cross buns, with this fun twist on the classic bread and butter pudding.

Hot cross bun traditions

Hot cross buns are a culinary highlight of Easter. Here are a few fun facts or traditions:

  • Legend has it that hot cross buns prepared on Good Friday will never spoil (this might be because they taste so good that they’re eaten straight away!).
  • Another superstition holds that, because of the cross, hot cross buns protect against evil spirits. That’s why some bakers used to hang them in their homes, particularly their kitchens. It was thought that this would both prevent kitchen fires and ensure that all the bread you baked throughout the year would turn out perfectly.
  • Taking a batch of hot cross buns on a long voyage was thought to prevent shipwrecks.
  • Feeling unwell? According to some traditions, eating a hot cross bun could make you feel better.

Possibly our favourite legend is that sharing a hot cross bun will create or strengthen a friendship. We feel pretty confident that your friendships will be strong after sharing the recipe below!

A hot cross bun is served on a blue china plate. Beside it is the National Trust for Scotland logo in icing sugar. There is a scoop of ice cream on top of the bun, and a decorative swish of cream beside it on the plate.

Easter recipe

Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod (you can use 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract if you don’t have vanilla pods)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 5 hot cross buns
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g sultanas
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

Method

1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C.

2. To make the custard, place the milk, double cream and vanilla pod/vanilla extract in a pan.

3. Heat to just below boiling point; make sure not to boil.

4. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl.

5. Pour the hot liquid over the eggs and sugar, stirring continuously.

6. Lightly butter a baking dish (approx. 20cm x 25cm x 5cm).

7. Slice the hot cross buns to about the thickness of sliced bread, then butter both sides.

8. Line the base of the dish with the buttered hot cross buns slightly overlapping.

9. Sprinkle the top with half of the sultanas and half of the lemon zest.

10. Repeat the layer of hot cross buns and then sprinkle with the remaining sultanas and lemon zest.

11. Pour the custard mix over the hot cross buns and allow to soak in for approx. 20 to 30 minutes.

12. Sprinkle the top with demerara sugar and bake for around 30 to 35 minutes (until it is golden brown).

Serve with ice cream, cream or hot custard ... and enjoy!

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