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the perfection that is bread pudding

Last year for Thanksgiving, I made my very first bread pudding. I know, what an odd choice for a Thankgiving dessert, but when you dealing with a french toast afficianado. I assumed that it would the best thing since, excuse the pun, sliced bread. 

But, alas, Deb’s pumpkin bread pudding was an EPIC fail.

I’ve never hated something I’ve made before in my life, but I literally wanted to toss that damn pan of sickness out the window. Good thing I had a dessert contingency plan or else I would’ve been one grumpy girl. It was not Deb’s fault; hers turned out gorgeous. Mine was just sick.

Ever since then, I’ve stayed away from bread pudding. I figured I was just one of those people who didn’t enjoy bread soaked in a smooth, silky custard then baked till soft to the touch. Oh, how silly I was. How could I have wasted a year not enjoying the rapture that bread pudding evokes? I plan on making up for lost time though, especially after finding this Apple Raisin Bread Pudding recipe.

All of my friends who tasted this couldn’t believe that something so simple and basic could be so damn tasty. I think if left to their own devices, they would’ve eaten the entire pan with their grubby hands. Good thing I regulated or else I wouldn’t have had a chance to sample a slice myself.

After my failed attempt, I knew that I had to perfect the art of bread pudding because it just didn’t make sense that I wouldn’t love this dessert. First of all, unlike my virginal try, I used an 8×8 square baking pan instead of a 9×13 pan, which made for a thicker bread pudding. And wow! What a difference. Instead of being thin and droopy, this bread pudding was thick and soft, with pockets of cinnamon and vanilla custard. I liked the contrast between the firm top and slightly soggy middle, but if you prefer a more solid bread pudding, you might want to use a bigger pan.

Now that is what I call bread pudding. Thick slices of cinnamon-raisin bread, soaked with vanilla custard, with sweet apples and raisins scattered about. Are you drooling yet?

This time around, I underbaked mine, unlike the other attempt when I baked it till it was almost too solid. It should jiggle, yet not dance when you move it. Does that make sense? Jiggle, not wiggle. Lastly, the apples just took this dessert to another level. I adore pumpkin, but the smell of apples baking in my kitchen is enough to render me in to a babylike trance. Being a lazy baker, I left my skins on my gala apples but feel free to peel them naked if you want. Also, if you prefer a little booze in your bread (who doesn’t?!), you could add in some dark rum or Frangelico to the custard mix. That’s right, grab that booze and go to town.

 

So, if you haven’t plotted out your Thanksgiving dinner yet (you’ve only got 4 days!), might I suggest this dessert? Not only will it leave you with extra time to mingle since this dish can be assembled pretty quickly, but you will become Miss Popularity, I swear. While it’s baking, you can embrace your inner hostess and mingle with your guests, knowing that your fail-proof dessert will emerge warm and perfect in about an hour. Your guests will be begging for the recipe and you will shrug slyly, knowing that you literally spent no time making this awe-inspired dessert. 

Now that I am bread pudding follower, I’m anxious to try out more recipes. Got any tips or recipes I should try? Leave them in the comment section and I will giddily get cracking!

Apple Raisin Bread Pudding
Origin: Bon Appetit, April 2001
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 65 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
● 2 cups whole milk
● 1 cup sugar
● 4 large eggs
● 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
● 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
● 1/8 teaspoon salt
● 7 slices crustless white bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
● 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
● 2/3 cup raisins
● Additional ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish. Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread, apple, and raisins. Pour batter into prepared dish.
Bake pudding 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Bake pudding until top is golden and center is set, about 35 minutes longer.

Spoon pudding into bowls. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve.

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November 24, 2008 - 5:22 am

Caitlin - Umm, wow. I’m not naturally a bread pudding fan (or an any-sort-of-pudding fan), but that could convince me. If the boyfriend didn’t require pumpkin pie for dessert, I think I’d be making this. Heck, maybe I’ll make it and keep it all for myself…

November 24, 2008 - 5:31 am

Cheryl - That looks heavenly! I love bread pudding!

November 24, 2008 - 9:43 am

cindy - this looks delightful! i have a suggestion…chocolate, croissants, and hazelnuts (or any nut). yum.

November 24, 2008 - 10:37 am

megan - your photos get me every time. i’ll eat bread pudding, though i am quite picky about it. this sounds like something i’d like however…maybe i could even make it for thanksgiving breakfast? hmm, we shall see!

November 24, 2008 - 11:14 am

DD - My all-time favorite dessert is chocolate hazelnut bread pudding and by god these photos are making my mouth water. Best consistency EVER.

November 24, 2008 - 12:17 pm

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink - These photos are so pretty—the plate, the polka dots, the spatula. It’s all enough to convince me to give bread pudding another shot.

November 24, 2008 - 1:24 pm

Nancy - I had never before – eaten, let alone made a bread pudding before last Christmas, but it’s one of my mothers favorite desserts. I decided to try Ina Garten’s Croissant Bread Pudding and it is absolute heaven! I’m sure you could add chocolate or whatever and you’d have people begging at your feet for more! I just loved it! However, it is one of those things that you should only eat once a year and then diet for the next month. You can get the recipe online at foodtv.com! Happy Holidays!

November 24, 2008 - 1:33 pm

nicole - See, I don’t even like bread pudding but this makes me feel like I should give it another chance … Happy Tgiving!

November 25, 2008 - 6:33 pm

maris - This looks so good! I love bread pudding but I’ve never made my own. I might make this for the holidays though – sounds great!

November 26, 2008 - 9:01 am

starre - sub half of the milk with heavy cream
makes it extra rich MMMMM

November 28, 2008 - 12:04 am

YeastSpotting November 28, 2008 | Wild Yeast - [...] Apple Raisin Bread Pudding ~ Slow Like Honey [...]

December 10, 2008 - 11:38 pm

Y - Love the photos. I don’t usually make bread pudding at home – no one in my family seems to be a fan of the stuff.. not sure why. And I’m not terribly fussed by it either, but when I do get a taste of it, I just can’t put the spoon down!

December 20, 2008 - 8:38 pm

folkmann.ca » Blog Archive » Bread pudding - [...] at Slow Like Honey, based on a Bon Appetit recipe from 2001. I’ve changed it a bit, by removing the apples and [...]

January 11, 2010 - 9:57 am

Winter Blues « Slow Like Honey - [...] slightly firm would have made my stomach turn. But after a delicious and successful attempt with this recipe, I changed my tune. I won’t lie; bread pudding is an acquired taste. If you aren’t a fan of [...]

November 27, 2010 - 10:23 pm

Kale - Hello!
I just found this recipe for a post-Thanksgiving dessert, if you can believe it (leftover bread from the stuffing, I had to use it somehow!), Well tonight I didn’t use raisins. Instead, I added a chopped-up dark chocolate bar and little marzipan cubes into the custard with the bread & apples, then sprinkled with slivered almonds (more leftovers, yay!).
All I got to say is WOAH, almonds! The bread bits became quite aromatic from the marzipan, mmm. Enjoy!

November 26, 2011 - 8:37 pm

Honey Sour-Dough Bread Pudding | - [...] from The Perfection That is Bread Pudding on the blog, Slow Like [...]

March 20, 2012 - 2:08 am

thirty one: cinnamon raisin bread pudding | snap & roll - [...] Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding (adapted from slowlikehoney) [...]

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