1. Preheat oven to 160?C. Use butter to lightly grease a six cup oven proof dish or loaf pan approximately 20cm x 27cm long.
Alternatively, you may use individual ramekins if you don’t have a pan that fits to size.
2. Cut each hot cross bun horizontally into three equal slices, leaving the top of the bun completely intact. Butter both sides of each piece generously with softened butter.
3. Spread apricot jam over one side of each piece, then repeat the process (step 2 and 3).
4. Peel, core and slice the apples into thin slices, approximately 3mm thick.
5. In a medium sized frypan, add the brown sugar and water and stir until the sugar has dissolved over medium heat.
6. Add the sliced apples and cook for approximately five minutes until they are soft (but not falling apart). Turn frequently. Set aside once done.
7. Layer the bottom slice of each hot cross bun on the base of the pan until they cover the whole pan. Spread one half of the apples over the buns evenly, then sprinkle 1/2 the frozen raspberries over that layer evenly.
8. Repeat with the middle layer of the hot cross bun, then apples and raspberries and finish with the top layer of the hot cross bun. The buns should be lined up and fit the entire pan.
9. Gently heat milk, cream and vanilla on the stove in a saucepan until they just come to the boil. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for five minutes.
10. Measure your eggs, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl and whisk for a minute until fully combined. Once the milk has cooled, add a little at a time into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until all has been incorporated.
11. Use a strainer to pour this over the hot cross buns in the pan. Wait for a minute until the buns have soaked up the mixture, then pour more. It should come nearly to the top of the bun.
12. Place the pan into a larger deep tray and gently pour boiling water into the larger tray until it comes halfway up the sides, i.e create a bain marie.
13. Cook for 55-60 minutes at 160?C until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Remove immediatly from the bain marie once cooked to prevent it from overcooking. Do not over bake. It should still have a little movement when done.
14. Serve warm with quality vanilla ice-cream.
Recipe & Photography by Yvonne Baldan, Sutherland Shire Cooking School.
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