Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fourth of July bread pudding is colorful holiday treat

The Fourth of July is almost here, and that means lots of good down-home food. We’ll be at a family gathering where everyone will pitch in to bring one of their specialties. I usually just volunteer “whatever’s needed.” Which could be anything from banana muffins to, believe it or not, my current favorite dish, a corn and bean salsa that’s out of this world.

But I digress. The topic here is still bread pudding. And for the Fourth, we’ve conjured up a decorative and delish red-white-and-blue offering that’s made from fresh summer fruits – strawberries, raspberries, and blues. Sweet and plump fresh strawberries have been at their peak for picking in this part of the northeast US, so we couldn’t resist adding them to this wonderful dish. I have such fun creating these new versions of bread pudding, and if I do say so myself, this is one of the best! You can double it too, and bake it in a larger container to serve a larger group.

Here’s to a happy and safe Fourth!


3 slices day-old Italian bread, cubed (about 1 cup
1/2 cup (generous) mixture of fresh blueberries, raspberries, and sliced strawberries
2 large eggs
1/2 cup half & half OR heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Dash cinnamon

Place bread cubes in bottom of buttered or cooking-sprayed 1-1/2-pint (3-cup) baking dish. Add fresh fruit, tossing with bread to combine. In bowl, whisk together eggs, half & half or cream, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Stir in cinnamon. Pour liquid over bread mixture in pan.
Let sit about 30 minutes to allow bread to absorb liquid. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven about 45 minutes or until pudding is firm and slightly browned on top. Serve warm or at room temp topped with whipped cream and some fresh berries on the side. Serves 4.
© 2008 Recipe by Portia Little.

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