A Christmas Carol dinner from Philippa

foodmenu-philippapud2CHEF Philippa Davies was back home in Dorset recently to prepare a special dinner Dorset Corset theatre company, run by her sister Helen Watts.

The Pudding of Christmas Present…

What better way to stir up the Christmas spirit than to invite the cast from theatre company Dorset Corset’s adaption of A Christmas Carol to dinner? The actors filed into the house with merry tunes and a jig in their step. The day’s rehearsing had gone really well and curtain up was in eight days.

With the music director straight on the task of handing out the chilled gin in double quick time the party swung into action. Taking stage centre on the dinner table were apple and pork sausages, buttered mash and savoy cabbage with slow cooked tomato, cinnamon and Parmesan.

The dish that really stole the show however, which makes it as this postcard’s recipe, was the panettone bread and butter pudding. Laced with Christmas spice, nuggets of candied peel and oozing with creamy vanilla custard it got rave reviews and is heading straight to the West End (well, I am anyway).

Panettone bread and butter puddingfoodmenu-philippapud

Feeds 12

With a sudden final head count the 1 panettone I had bought was not quite enough so I added some brown bread into the mix and it was delicious. This recipe will definitely be making a repeat performance over Christmas as it was perfect for a hungry crowd.

700g Panettone (or mix of bread)
150 g soft butter
600ml double cream
200ml whole milk
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
9 eggs
175g caster sugar
½ nutmeg
2 tbs demerara sugar

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Slice the bread into 1 cm thick pieces. Spread each piece with butter, cut on the diagonal then layer in a large baking dish. In a saucepan heat the milk, cream, cinnamon stick and vanilla till it comes just to the boil.

foodmenu-philippapud3Meanwhile in a large bowl crack the eggs and whisk in the caster sugar. When the cream mix is hot strain the liquid (discarding the cinnamon stick) into the eggs and whisk. Pour onto the buttered bread in the dish and leave to soak in for 10to 15 minutes.

Grate on top the nutmeg sprinkle on the demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 mins (you want it slightly browned on top and with a little wobble). It should be wet enough not to need anything, but an extra dash of cream to serve never goes amiss.

For more of Philippa’s postcard recipes visit www.philippadavis.com

Dorset Corset’s A Christmas Carol is at the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe until Christmas Eve. See our review in the Reviews section of this website.