Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My neighbors have been extremely generous sharing the summer bounty from their gardens with me and to thank them I made them a tray each of bread pudding. The recipe is one of the first in my cookbook as a 14 year old and I continue to use it. The additions of toppings are 51 years later! 
4 cups of crusty bread (please use crusty bread like French bread or crusty rolls).
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (increase to taste)
Raisins... to your hearts content...I used quarter a cup fat, golden raisins.
Vanilla 2 teaspoons. (less if you're anti vanilla) OR
1 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg powder.
Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Make your bread into small chunks and layer in a baking tray (I used a foil tray).
Beat/whisk eggs, milk and sugar till combined. Add vanilla and raisins.
When you pour this over the bread make sure the bread has enough liquid to soak in properly. I turned the bread over after fifteen minutes and there was still enough milk mixture in the pan to come up to two thirds of the bread content. If the bread soaks up all the milk add a little more.
If I hadn't been giving it to the neighbor who's grandkids are over every day in the summer, one option is to add a spoon of good rum or brandy at this stage.
Stir everything after another 15 minutes, place in oven to bake. 
Check in 45 minutes...if a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, its done. Mine needed another 5 minutes as I have a slow oven. 
TIPS Do not dry out the pudding too much by leaving too long in the oven. 
Surprisingly HD liked the moist center the most.
These days there is a whiskey sauce to have with it (recipe easily found online) but we prefer it the way it is.
As a diabetic (my neighbors are too...Wait! Will Mabel Tauro say I live in Diabetic Colony now or I'm infecting everyone with my diabetic germs here?) I used less sugar...the raisins, fig jam and sugar free whipped cream gave it the perfect sweetness.
After I gave their trays to the neighbors I fixed a plate for each of us like this:
Warm bread pudding, 1 Tbspn of Fig jam which hadn't set properly yet (needs to be at the pre-set pouring stage for this), and a dollop of whipped cream. 
Chopped walnuts on top might give some crunchy appeal.
HD actually loved it enough to say, "This is really good!" twice. 
High praise from a man not fond of desserts.

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