English chef Antony Worrall Thompson attributes his rise to fame to croissants. When 33 dozen were accidentally delivered instead of the three dozen ordered, he was an apprentice pastry chef with a problem. This solution became one of his signature dishes.
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons sultanas
2 tablespoons brandy or whisky (optional) or water
6 egg yolks
200 grams caster sugar
4 croissants, sliced in half
½ cup demerara sugar
1 teaspoon soft butter
1. Grease a ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the croissants and reserve.
2. Soak the sultanas in the alcohol or water for 30mins before using.
3. Heat the milk and cream in a pot with the vanilla bean and bring to the verge of boiling
and remove from heat.
4. Mix the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a mixer until the eggs turn pale. Remove the vanilla pod scraping all the seeds back into the liquid with a spoon. Pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t scramble. Add any whisky or rum that the sultanas haven’t absorbed.
5. Arrange the halved croissants in the baking dish, sprinkling the sultanas evenly throughout.
6. Pour over the custard mixture then sprinkle over demerara sugar and bake in a 180C oven for about 30 minutes or until the custard is just set – don’t overcook it.
7. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 4-6
TIP: This version of his recipe is a great Easter dessert; maybe skip the booze if it is for younger kids and possibly stir through half a cup of chocolate buttons to make it even more Easter-y.