Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bread pudding is all you need

There are some days when all you need in life is bread pudding.

It’s soft, it’s warm, it’s comforting, and it doesn’t demand anything of you but that you enjoy it. Bite into its crusty topping, then let your tongue savor the gentle custardy innards. And if you’re lucky, you’ll discover a delightful surprise inside – such as chopped pralines, or fresh raspberries, or sinful chunks of dark chocolate chips. Just for starters.

Bread pudding has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a way to use up stale bread. Now we find BPs on the menus of trendy restaurants, all dolled up with fancy liqueur sauces and dreamy toppings. But you can have so much fun creating BPs in your own kitchen, tossing in this-and-that from your shelf and fridge.

And if anyone questions you about its food value, you can assure them that bread pudding contains most of what we consider the important food groups, such as wheat, dairy, protein, and fruit. If I must consume these dietary essentials, however, I’d prefer them, thank you, in a mouth-watering bread pudding, rather than in a granola bar, broccoli casserole, or bean soup.

This is the first installment of my blog, Bread Pudding All Day. I could indeed consume bread pudding every day (and sometimes I do, even for breakfast). I plan to post a new article at least once a week, with recipes and creative ways to embrace bread pudding. BP in the oven, BP in the slow cooker, BP in the microwave, BP even on the grill. Please join me in this bread pudding party – you won’t go away hungry!

This Fresh Raspberry Bread pudding, which I created a couple of years ago, is still one of my very favorites – its fresh, fruity fragrance fills the house with a tantalizing aroma while it’s baking. So now I’m going to escape to the kitchen to take it out of the oven. It’s ready. Yes!!


3 eggs
1/2 cup, plus heaping teaspoon sugar
2 cups milk
4 cups cubed day-old French or Italian bread
3/4 cup fresh raspberries (see note)
I tablespoon butter

With electric mixer, beat eggs until foamy. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in milk. Place bread cubes in buttered or cooking-sprayed 1-1/2- to 2-quart baking dish or soufflé pan (or 9-inch baking dish). Pour egg mixture over bread. Scatter berries over top of bread, pushing down into mixture. Dot with slivers of butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake in 400-degree F. oven 45-50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or topping. Serves 6-8.
(Note: You can use frozen raspberries. Do not thaw before adding.)
© 2008, Recipe by Portia Little.

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