Friday, September 30, 2011

Serving Up {Dessert}: Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is probably not on very many people's list of favorite desserts.  Probably not even the top ten.  But I have loved bread pudding ever since I was a kid.  How weird is that?  This is my mom's recipe, which back in the 80's she proudly revamped it to make it "healthier" by using skim milk.  I have just as proudly added all the dreaded fat back into it now that we are past the mistakes of the 80's (low fat and big hair - two things we should have known would come back to haunt us).

The recipe also includes a delicious cream sauce to drizzle on top, but more often than not I choose to save myself the trouble and skip the sauce.  I find that I am just as satisfied warming the bread pudding and topping it with some vanilla bean ice cream which slowly begins to soften and melt down the sides and is every bit as tasty as the cream sauce.  I also generally add raisins to only half of the pan of bread pudding since we have some non-raisin eaters at our house.  Either way, sauce or not, raisin or not, the end product is delicious!

(recipe from Linda W.)
printable version

16 slices bread, cut into 1"cubes
6 eggs
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbs. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)

Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and toast in a 450 degree oven for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
Prepare a 13x9 pan by lightly coating with Pam.  Place toasted bread cubes in the 13x9 pan.  Sprinkle raisins over the bread.
Combine eggs, cream, milk, vanilla, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend to combine them well.  Pour the liquid mixture over the bread.  Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow to sit at least one hour or up to overnight, allowing the bread to absorb the moisture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes (or until center is set).
Serve warm topped with cream sauce or ice cream.
Cream Sauce:
4 egg yolks
1 Tbs. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Whisk together the egg yolks, flour, vanilla and salt.
Combine the cream and sugar and heat over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge. Remove the hot cream from the heat and whisk one cup of cream into the egg mixture. Return all the egg mixture to the remaining cream. Return the pan to the heat on low and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 2-3 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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