Members' Recipes Archive

April 2004
Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Bread and Butter Pudding
Darina Allen

Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Bread and Butter Pudding

By: Darina Allen

Serves: 6

We've had great fun ringing the changes with our basic bread and butter pudding recipe. This version is made with gooseberries and elderflower, but it is also delicious with rhubarb or with apple perfumed with cinnamon or mixed spice.
When I'm driving through country lanes in late May or early June, I suddenly spy the elderflower blossoms. I know its time to go and search under the gooseberry bushes for the hard, green berries, far too under-ripe to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious pudding. Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with green gooseberries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.
Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen's internationally known establishment, is located in beautiful southeast Ireland.


12 slices good quality white bread, crusts removed
50g (2ozs) butter, preferably unsalted
900g (2lb) green gooseberries
450g (1lb) sugar
3 elderflower heads, optional
450ml (16fl oz) cream
225ml (8fl ozs) milk
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
170g (6ozs) sugar
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling on top of the pudding

To serve
Softly whipped cream
1 x 20.5cm (8inch) square pottery or china dish


1. Put the gooseberries into a saucepan with the sugar and elderflowers tied in a muslin bag. Stir over a moderate heat until the fruit bursts, discard the elderflowers.

2. Butter the bread and arrange 4 slices, buttered side down, in a single layer in a 20.5cm (8inch) square pottery or china dish. Spoon one-third of the gooseberry mixture over the bread and then another layer of bread, buttered side down, followed by another third of the gooseberry mixture, finally cover with the remaining bread, buttered side down. Reserve the remainder of the gooseberry and elderflower compote to serve with the pudding.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla essence and sugar. Pour the mixture through a sieve, over the bread. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, allow to stand, covered loosely, for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

4. Bake in a bain-marie – the water should be half way up the sides of the baking dish. Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven, for 1 hour approx or until the top is crisp and golden.

5. Serve warm with some softly-whipped cream and the remainder of the gooseberry and elderflower compote reheated.

Note: This can even be made with frozen gooseberries in Winter.

© Recipe copyright 2004 Darina Allen


Author: Darina Allen Email:

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