Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Raspberry PB&J bread pudding is double the comfort

Comfort food has taken on a whole new meaning. In the very same dish you can experience not only the flavor of that old-time favorite peanut and butter sandwich, but also the lusciousness of bread pudding, the classic comfort food on a plate.

We created a recipe using both these delightful components for Project PB&J, a blogger cooking contest celebrating National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day, which was celebrated on April 2. Taste testers have given this recipe a Five-Star rating. “The bread pudding tastes just like a peanut butter cookie,” commented one taster, “and the raspberry sauce is a luscious topping. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Many other delectable PB&J creations have been posted this week on the Once Upon a Loaf blog, which is a must-see for anyone who loves to bake bread.

Raspberry PB & J Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

1 cup (or to taste) chunky peanut butter

1 12-ounce jar seedless red raspberry jam

6 to 8 slices day-old bread (enough to make 4 cups cubed PB&J sandwiches)

3 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 to 2 cups whole milk (depending on whether you like your bread pudding firm or custardy)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spread bread slices thickly with peanut butter and jam. Put together as for PB&J sandwiches, then cut them into cubes. (Any peanut butter or jam that escapes in the cutting can be added to the bread in the baking pan. Or, do with it what you will …)

Spray a 1-1/2-quart casserole dish (or 9-inch square glass baking pan) with cooking spray. Place bread cubes in baking dish. In large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together for about 1 minute or until sugar is almost dissolved. Whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture over bread evenly, pushing down bread into mixture. Let sit in fridge about 1/2 hour for bread to absorb liquid. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean, and tops of bread are nicely browned. Cool on wire rack.

Before serving, melt remainder of raspberry jam either in small pan on stove, or in microwave. Serve bread pudding slightly warm, drizzled with raspberry jam “sauce.” Top with whipped cream or ice cream if you’d like.

(Recipe created by Portia Little © 2012)