You will need
500 ml thickened cream
250 ml milk
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1 cinnamon stick
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
150g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
600 g brioche or good-quality white bread
Butter, softened, for greasing
200g medjool dates, pitted and torn into quarters
1.Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas mark 2. Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon and orange zest. Stir the egg yolks and whole egg in a heatproof bowl, then add the caster sugar. Add the hot cream mixture, a little at a time, whisking as you go.
2.In the meantime, break the brioche into rough golf ball-sized hunks. Butter a two litre-capacity baking dish generously with butter, then dust lightly with caster sugar. Arrange the brioche in the dish and disperse the dates between the layers.
3.Strain the cream mixture through a sieve over the brioche. Allow to soak for some time (about one hour), pushing the brioche pieces down occasionally as they soak up the liquid and become quite squishy.
Recipe, PS Desserts by Philippa Sibley (Hardie Grant Books)
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