Put the apricots and raisins in a small
dish, pour over the brandy and leave to
soak, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile,
beat the egg and sugar together in a
medium bowl, then whisk in the custard
powder with a balloon whisk until
smooth. Warm the milk in a small
non-stick saucepan; then, when it’s just
coming up to a boil, remove from the
heat and slowly stir into the egg mixture.
Scrape in the vanilla seeds, drop in the
pared lemon zest and vanilla pod and set
aside to cool and infuse for 30 mins.
Whisk the crème fraîche into the cooled
milk. Strain this custard through a sieve
into a jug. Using ¼ tsp butter from the
25g, very lightly butter a shallow
ovenproof dish, about 20 x 25 x 4.5cm.
Butter the bread on one side only with
the rest of the butter, then spread over the
conserve or jam. Cut each slice into 4
triangles, then lay half
the triangles, jam side up, in the dish.
Scatter over half the apricots and raisins, then lay the rest of the bread over the
top, again jam side up. Scatter over the
rest of the dried fruit and any unsoaked
brandy, then pour half the custard over
the bread. Leave to soak for 15 mins.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Sit the dish in a roasting tin. Pour the rest of the custard over the bread, press the bread lightly into the custard then half fill the roasting tin with hot water. Bake for 20 mins, then raise the heat to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake for a further 5-10 mins until the bread on top is crisp and golden. Remove and let the pudding sit for 2-3 mins. Sift over the icing sugar and serve warm.