A festive combination of two Heston Blumenthal Waitrose dishes and one of the Fat Duck chef’s own recipes create an easy dessert with a Christmas twist.
It bewilders me that people still buy stuff like Panettone or Stollen. We have this thing called “progress” that means I can go out and buy ten Lion bars at 3am any night of the year, so paying a fiver or more for a tiny dry cake once a year isn’t exactly what I’d consider a treat.
Christmas is a time for tradition though, whether it’s nasty baked goods, kids begging for toys from a drinks company mascot or me eating all the Ferrero Rocher.
One recent Christmas tradition is the annual glut of Heston from Waitrose stuff. Yet again you can buy the Earl Grey Stollen (which based on Heston’s prior form won’t actually taste of Earl Grey) and the Christmas Pudding Ice Cream.
Heston and the Waitrose website are usually great at coming up with recipes that incorporate (i.e. promote) his supermarket range, but there’s been a curious silence over these two products. We thought we’d address that by using the classic Heston Pain Perdu recipe that’s normally used to make his signature breakfast-themed dessert.
Recipes: Heston’s Pain Perdu recipe
Special Equipment: None
Special Ingredients: Heston from Waitrose Earl Grey Stollen, Heston from Waitrose Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
Time: 1 -2 hours
Serves: 2 – 4
Step 1: Make Custard
Making custard used to fill me with dread, but like any recipe it becomes manageable after a few attempts. And the real stuff isn’t vastly more hassle than using Bird’s Custard Powder.
This isn’t even custard, just a cold blend of milk, egg yolk and sugar. Whisk or use a hand blender to combine.
Step 2: Soak Bread
Let the Stollen slices sit in the mixture for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Cook
Simply clarify butter in a pan and over a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until each side is nicely brown.
That’s nicely brown, by the way, not nasty and blackened. Check regularly and don’t wander off to stare at the telly in the other room.
Cook all the Stollen slices this way and then keep them warm if possible.
Step 4: Caramel Crust
Melt the sugar for a light caramel (you can clean then use the same pan) and use tongs to coat the bread on each side. Be sure to make a fresh caramel for each slice, or you’ll end up with stuff that’s as dark, nasty and bitter as a celebrity Twitter spat.
Rest the slices on greaseproof paper to ensure they don’t stick, and snip of any strands of stray caramel once it’s had a minute to cool.
Congratulations, you’ve just made Heston’s Earl Grey Stollen Pain Perdu recipe. Stick a big scoop of his Waitrose Christmas Pudding Ice Cream on top to finish off a great seasonal dessert.
We really enjoyed this, especially the masterstroke of the caramel coating.
The whole recipe is a decent way to use these two otherwise quite restrictive Heston from Waitrose products. Like much of the range they’re little more than a novelty when bought separately, but together they create a fantastic dessert that’s perfect for winter.
Stollen might be the festive choice, or brioche for non-seasonal indulgence, but you could make this with any kind of bread.
We might also take a bit more care in future not to burn the outside.
There’s a fun review of the Heston Blumenthal from Waitrose Earl Grey Stollen over at the consistently excellent Michelin Microwave. Mark’s site is always entertaining. We’d highly advise you subscribing via email.
Have you tried either of these Waitrose products or would you give this recipe a go over Christmas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.