WE almost always cook too much when we entertain. And I’m quite certain that I’m not alone. It must be an Asian thing – the thought of running out of food when you have guests under your roof is something too horrible to contemplate and we probably cook twice as much as we need.

So after we wave goodbye to our last guests and persuaded them to please “take something” home with them, we hurry to the kitchen to deal with the remains of the day … last week it was a mountain of spaghetti, a tureen of chicken and mushroom sauce, enough homemade bread to eat over the next two weeks, a dozen jacket potatoes, various bits of barbecued meat, an enormous bowl of salad, a platter of fried noodles, half an apple tart and half a chocolate cake ….
Truth be told though, we actually enjoy disposing of these leftovers – it means not having to cook for the next couple of days and forays into the fridge are always rewarded with some tasty bounty. Mutiny only starts to rear its ugly head when I try to fob off the same dish one time too many.

Fortunately, I’m a expert of disguise and by the time I’m done, no one even knows they’re eating last’s week’s party food …. I pass on here, some of my tried and tested tricks.


  • 3 Granny Smith or Royal Gala apples
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • A handful of raisins
  • Softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 400ml UHT or fresh milk
  • 4 level tbsp fine granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence, or 1 vanilla bean
  • split lengthwise
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. PEEL and core apples. Cut into 0.5cm slices and place in a shallow pan with the 1 tbsp of butter and sugar. Saute for a few minutes until it softens slightly and any liquid it exudes evaporates. Stir in the raisins and take pan off the heat.
  2. Generously butter the bread and cut into 3cm squares (or triangles, if you prefer). Butter the base and sides of a not-too-shallow heatproof container and arrange a single layer of bread on the base. Spread the apples on the bread and arrange another layer of bread over this.
  3. Beat eggs, milk and 3 tbsp sugar together. Add vanilla extract or split vanilla bean and pour this over the bread, allowing it to soak in. Set aside for 30 minutes. Just before baking in a preheated oven (190 degrees C), sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon and the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Dot with about 1tbsp of softened butter and bake for about 40 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
Ready in: 1 hour 40 min
Yields: Serves: 1-2 person


Nutrition Facts
Calories 430
Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value *
Fat 20 g 31%
Fiber 1 g 4%
Sodium 372 mg 16%

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