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Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding with Cranks

Cheese and Leek Pudding

Cranks and I go back a long way. The Dartington Cider Press branch, now Cranks Kitchen, opened many years ago, when I was at school. It was a very exciting prospect for an ever hungry bunch of teenagers and it was only a couple of hundred yards down the hill. We couldn’t afford much, but I do remember wolfing down a fair number of cheese baps and date slices. I have been a frequent visitor ever since. When I was invited to attend a new product launch event there a few week ago, I was not going to say no.

Cranks was a hippy vegetarian wholefood cafe that first opened its doors in Carnaby Street in 1961. It has been weathering the storms of foodie fashion ever since by staying true to the concept of its founder, David Canter – delicious food that is good for both body and soul. Cranks Kitchen is now the sole restaurant and it still cooks slow food using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.  Much of the same food that was available to me back in the 1970s is still on the menu now. Latterly, Richard Corrigan has teamed up with Cranks’ bakery to create some new slow rise breads. As well as Carry on Carrot and Breaditerranean, there is one which particularly resonates with me: Hippity Hoppity is a cheese and potato bread inspired by the famous Cranks’ homity pie. I’ve been eating and enjoying homity pie for more years than I care to remember.

Richard CorriganI was lucky enough to sit with Richard Corrigan and be entertained by his Irish wit and free flowing conversation throughout our meal. It was his suggestion to share a platter of food from the menu rather than each ordering our own individual meal. This was a great idea that immediately appealed to me, as I too like to try a little bit of everything. The staff coped with good will and grace to our unusual request and a large plate full of savoury bites and colourful salads soon appeared. Quite what we had has rather faded from memory now, but it was all very tasty. I know we had some homity pie, I’m not likely to forget that and I also know we had some of this savoury cheese and leek bread pudding

Cranks CakeThe restaurant was packed with happy diners, mostly regular customers invited for the launch, which seems a particularly gracious way of saying thank you.  The staff were cheerful and helpful, the food was excellent and we were all given a rather large goodie bag on arrival. The festive atmosphere was supported by a generous number of balloons – and there was cake. Cake always puts a smile on people’s faces and it certainly did on ours. Not a crumb remained by the time we left the table. The goodie bag contained a loaf of Cranks wholemeal, which incidentally is one of the nicest wholemeal loaves I’ve ever had; also included were a Hippity Hoppity loaf, a couple of bags of dried beans and excitingly, a new edition of Cranks Recipe Book by David Canter, first published in 1982.

I was so excited by the new Cranks recipe for savoury cheese and leek bread pudding, that I made some for supper the very next day. We were both rather hungry and I didn’t have time for pictures, so what you can see at the top of this post are the leftovers. These didn’t stay leftover for long; the pudding was almost as delicious cold as it was hot. We ate ours with purple sprouting broccoli – highly recommended.

Recipe Clippings LogoAs we were given a paper recipe card to take away, I am entering this into Recipe Clippings over at FarmersgirlKitchen

 

 

 

Bookmarked RecipesLikewise I am entering this into Jac’s Bookmarked Recipes over at Tinned Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

Credit Crunch MunchAs this is a fairly frugal meal, using up bits of old bread, I am entering this into Credit Crunch Munch with Michelle over at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families. This challenge is run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours.

 

 

Savoury Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding
Serves 6
A savoury pudding flavoured with leeks and cheese which is just as good (if not better) than its sweet counterpart.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium leeks - sliced
  2. 400g (14oz) Cranks Hippity Homity Loaf- sliced and cut into triangles (I used Cranks wholemeal loaf).
  3. 150g (5oz) cheddar cheese - grated
  4. 40g (1.5oz) salted butter
  5. 600ml (1 pint) milk
  6. 3 medium eggs
  7. freshly ground black pepper
  8. Ā½ tsp sea salt (I omitted this as I figured the cheese and butter were quite salty enough).
Instructions
  1. Grease a 1.5l baking dish with a little butter. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks for about five minutes, until softened.
  2. Put a layer of bread in the base of the baking dish. Scatter half the leeks on top, then sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Arrange the remaining bread triangles over the surface, followed by the rest of the leeks.
  3. Beat the milk and eggs together and season to taste. Pour evenly over the bread, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Leave to stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190Ā°C / 375Ā°F / gas mark 5. Bake the pudding for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe
    9th April 2015

    I was very fond of cranks in covent garden in london and wasn’t sure if any of their restaurants survived so am pleased to hear there is still one going. I also have a couple of cranks cookbooks – I really love the 1970s one. The bread and butter pudding sounds great – I was just thinking about one today with the odd pieces of bread we have about and this looks delicious.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th April 2015

      Dartington is the only Cranks I’ve ever been into Johanna, but I hadn’t realised until now that it is the only one left. I used to make something similar to this, but had completely forgotten about it until we had it Cranks the other week. Very glad to have rediscovered such a gem.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Glamorous Glutton
    9th April 2015

    You’ve just reminded me of lunches spent in Cranks in Carnaby Street. I loved that restaurant and as a student it was one of the affordable places in the west end of London. I thought it had gone for good, I’m so pleased that at least on branch still exists. The Savoury bread pudding looks delicious too. I’m quite jealous of a lunch spent with Richard Corrigan, I bet that was fun. GG

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th April 2015

      And I’m quite envious of you going to the original Cranks GG – a veritable piece of history šŸ˜‰ Richard was great fun. He’s really into gardening these days, so we talked a lot about the best way to grow veg.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Munchies and munchkins
    9th April 2015

    Oh that bread pudding sounds incredible. I’m working on a savoury bread pudding recipe myself after loving the hot cross bun dish I made last week.. Yum.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th April 2015

      Ah, I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Do let me know. I used to make one quite regularly, but had completely forgotten until I had this at Cranks.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Lindsay
    9th April 2015

    I’ve never heard of Cranks but if I’m ever in London I’ll be sure to check it out. I am such a cheese addict too, I love the idea of using it in a bread pudding!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th April 2015

      Ah, you’ll have to come to Devon to try Cranks out Lindsay, I’m not sure when the London branches closed, but they are no more.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Emma
    9th April 2015

    This looks amazing! It’s definitely got my stomach rumbling! x

  6. Leave a Reply

    Camilla
    9th April 2015

    Your post brings back memories of visits to the Cider Press as a teen with my parents, I used to love all the food and remember lovely baps filled with cress, then we’d buy some pottery and some cider and I even went there with my now hubby. Then there was the branch in London too which from memory was on Sloane Street but I could be totally wrong. I have cherished my Cranks Books and cooked so many different things from them over the years. Remember hubby made a lovely Homity Pie from one of them once. Thanks for this fab recipe, a great entry to #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th April 2015

      Ah, it’s good to hear you have fond memories of the Cider Press Camilla. The baps filled with cress were the cheese baps I mentioned. Sadly, I never made it to any of the London branches.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Helen
    9th April 2015

    This looks lovely! I’m a big fan of the savoury bread pudding. Yum.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    9th April 2015

    I love a savoury bread pudding, this looks like a really tasty and frugal dish. Thanks for joining me for #Recipe Clippings.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      Thanks Janice. It reminded me at just how good savoury bread puddings can be.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    9th April 2015

    That’s a fine piece of proper food and just the sort of food I’d expect and enjoy at a Cranks. You’ve made me very nostalgic. I can’t remember the original Cranks in Carnaby Street but I have many fond memories of the place after they moved around the corner into Marshall Street (at about the time Sgt Pepper was released unless my memories of the sixties are less than reliable and they almost certainly are). To be honest, there were a few times when the food was just a little bit too worthy and, let’s face it, heavy as a heavy thing but that certainly didn’t stop me loving the place. I also hung out in the Dartington Cranks for a week or two when I had some sort of vague business with the college back in the 90s and I’ve always remembered that place with affection too. I had no idea it was still there.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      Gosh Beatles mania Phil, what an exciting time to be in London and hanging out in hippy cafes. It seems many think that Cranks has disappeared entirely but the Dartington branch is always very busy. Dartington is a very lovely little pocket of the world. Sadly the college is no longer there, it decamped to Falmouth.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Elizabeth
    10th April 2015

    I’ve never heard of Cranks (being Canadian and all) but it sounds like a super place. Gorgeous recipe too!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      Cranks was big in the 70s Elizabeth, but their cookbooks are all still available and well worth having.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Karen
    10th April 2015

    I LOVE Cranks and still have a battered paperback book from the 1970’s! I am also a BIG fan of savoury bread puddings and this one will be added to my list! Karen

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      It’s very heartening to hear how so many have good memories of Cranks Karen – long may it continue šŸ™‚ I’d forgotten about savoury bread puddings until I had this a few weeks ago, but i used to make quite a few of them.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      Ah, so glad you know about Cranks Bintu – always worth a visit if in the vicinity.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Jenny
    10th April 2015

    Oh how wonderful it would be to go back there again! Maybe at the next DHS reunion? Had no idea it was still there…amazed to see a photo of cake, which had quit a pallid complexion. Not WHITE flour surely?! That would never have happened in the old days!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      10th April 2015

      It’s been a long time since we were all there together Jenny – as you say, we should try and make an effort for the next reunion. Good point about the cake, shows what a good time I was having as that point rather slipped my notice šŸ˜‰

  13. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    10th April 2015

    I love Cranks but haven’t been in so long! There used to be one in Carnaby Street but I don’t think it’s there any more. The savour bread and butter pudding looks lovely (what’s left of it!) and is such a good idea… I’m gonna make it!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th April 2015

      Dom the one in Carnaby Street closed a very long time ago. This one at Dartington is the only one left – do keep up šŸ˜‰

  14. Leave a Reply

    Anita-Clare Field
    11th April 2015

    Ah, Cranks, Loved the one in Covent Garden, but equally the one in the Devon.I’ve had many a lunch there too when it was the cider press. My best friends moved to Exeter in the early 90’s so I spent lots of time there. Beautiful homity loaf. Gosh what with Becca’s Homity pie bites and this loaf now I am going to be indulging my love of all things homity for weeks. Great post.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th April 2015

      Thanks Anita. Cranks is still at the Cider Press, so you shouldn’t see too many changes on your next visit. Homity pie is one of my favourite comfort dishes and it’s really time I made one again.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours
    11th April 2015

    I am sure there was one near to Conduit street too – the West side of Regent street. Maybe not.

    So sad how ever increasing rents make all these places close down and be replaced by bland chains.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th April 2015

      Yes indeed Helen, high rates are also one of the reasons there are so few independent shops and cafes in our high streets these days – very sad.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Lucy @ BakingQueen74
    11th April 2015

    I remember my mum using the Cranks cookbook, seem to remember liking her dishes! This sounds very tasty. Was there a Cranks in Bath do you know? Used to eat somewhere there with my Dad that I thought was Cranks.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th April 2015

      No, I’m a bit hazy about any of them except the Dartington one Lucy as that was the only one I ever went into. Bath is the sort of place that might have had one though.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Lisa from Lisa's Life
    29th April 2015

    I’ve never had a savoury bread pudding but now I’m wondering if my Lactofree cheese would work in this, it sounds absolutely delicious! šŸ™‚

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