Poor Knights Pudding (also known as Poor Knights of Windsor) is simply another name for Pain Perdu (lost bread). The latter dish has been popular since medieval times in some form or other. As Mary Norwak observes in her book English Puddings the knights in question could hardly be considered poor as most recipes call for the finest white bread (such as the manchet loaves eaten in the medieval period) and often include sherry and cream. This particular version is an adaptation of a Jane Grigson recipe which calls for a fresh raspberry sauce rather than the jam more commonly used. Jane simply fries her slices of bread in clarified butter but I have followed with tradition and have dipped my bread in a eggy mix.
- 450g raspberries
- 110g icing sugar plus extra for sweetening
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 150g unsalted butter
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp medium or sweet sherry (I used Pedro Jimenez)
- 200ml double cream
- 8 small slices brioche or white bread
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Put the raspberries, icing sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Lightly mash the fruit into the sugar and leave to macerate while you prepare the bread.
- Gently melt the butter in a large frying pan. Line a sieve with some muslin then pour the butter into the sieve placed over a bowl. This will clarify the butter and will prevent it from burning when you fry the bread. Wipe the frying pan clean and return the butter to the pan over a medium heat.
- Combine the eggs with the sherry and 2 tbsp double cream (the rest of the cream will be used to accompany the Poor Knights) in a shallow dish large enough to accommodate a slice of bread. If you are using regular bread rather than brioche you may want to add a tablespoon or two of icing sugar to this mix to sweeten it slightly. Dip each slice of bread into the eggy mix ensuring both sides get a thorough coating. Gently fry the bread on each side until golden brown. Keep the pain perdu warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining egg drenched slices.
- Beat the remaining cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar and the vanilla extract until floppy.
- To serve, place a slice of eggy bread on a plate. Spoon over some raspberries and their juices and top with another slice of fried bread. Serve with the sweetened whipped cream.