Monday, December 29, 2008

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce



My grandma used to make bread pudding and I loved it. As a result, when I read bread pudding on a dessert menu, provided I have not stuffed myself to the limit, I will give it a try. Most versions fall short of my expectations. This has prompted me to find a bread pudding recipe of my own. Below I document my first try at bread pudding. The pudding was my contribution to Christmas dinner at my parent's house this weekend. Boy oh boy did I find THE bread pudding recipe. While my sisters complain of desserts with "chunks"(picky, picky, picky) and not a single one of the kids touched this, I was in bread pudding heaven. I noticed that the bowl was scraped clean by the next morning, so there must have been other fans of this recipe in the house.

As you might imagine, the recipe calls for bread. Let's begin by cutting off the crusts and cubing 8 cups of day old bread.


Now, finely chop a couple of tart apples.


Toss in some dried cranberries and raisins. I used about 1/4 cup of each.


Toss the fruit together with the bread cubes and transfer to a buttered baking dish.


Now separate 6 eggs and put the yolks into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Save those egg whites and make yourself a nice and healthy egg white omelet the next morning. This may help you to recover from the guilt once you read the next step. Uh oh. The cream step. Hey, it's the holidays...make a resolution tomorrow. Tonight, enjoy the dessert. Heck, pour on a little extra rum sauce. Christmas only comes once a year. Oh, you also need 3 whole eggs. So that's 6 egg yolks and 3 eggs.


Add a cup of heavy whipping cream.


Stir it up with 1 1/2 cups of sugar


And pour it over the bread/fruit mixture.


Place dish in a larger baking dish. Fill larger dish with boiling water halfway up the sides. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from water bath. Cool for 15 minutes. At least that's what the recipe says you should do. I have to be honest here...I completely forgot to put the dish in a water-filled larger dish. To avoid a dry pudding, I covered the dish immediately after I removed it from the oven and it steamed as it cooled.


While the pudding cools, make the sauce. I doubled the sauce recipe. I prefer to douse or smother rather than drizzle. The sauce is more heavy whipping cream, sugar, rum extract and nutmeg. I brought the sauce to a boil and then reduced the heat to low. Really, I was just going to keep the sauce warm until I served it over the pudding. However, I forgot about the sauce for about an hour while we ate dinner and when I returned to the stove to find it still simmering away, it was just perfect. How lucky! It had reduced and thickened and was a nice golden color. It hadn't burned and none of it stuck to the bottom of the sauce pan. Finally, a kitchen accident that worked in my favor. Delicious, delicious sauce. I could just eat this by the spoonful.


Now serve the rich, delicious sauce over that fabulous bread pudding and enjoy!


Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

8 cups day-old bread cubes, crust removed
2 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
6 egg yolks
3 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar

CREAM SAUCE:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla or rum extract
Dash ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the bread cubes, apples and cranberries. Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. or 2 quart baking dish. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, eggs, cream, milk and sugar. Pour over bread mixture. Place dish in a larger baking dish. Fill larger dish with boiling water halfway up the sides. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from water bath. Cool for 15 minutes.

For the cream sauce, in a saucepan, combine cream and sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has reduce and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla or rum extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm with pudding. Yield: 6-8 servings.

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