Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peach buttermilk bread pudding is summertime hit

The peaches are glowing on our two trees. They’re rosy and magnificent. And hard as rocks.

I hope they survive the garden pests long enough to ripen and be ready for picking and eating. People rave about Georgia peaches, and with good reason. You hardly ever hear anyone go on and on about New England peaches, but in fact we do enjoy some luscious, juicy varieties, just later in the season.

So while we await our own fruit supply, we’re going to the market to select some fresh peaches to enjoy in a wonderful peach bread pudding that was created by pudding connoisseurs Alma Gonzales and her son Rey. Sourdough bread takes well to fruit bread puddings and this one is no exception. It’s also rich with buttermilk and cream, golden raisins, and spices. They suggest serving the pudding with a drizzle of whipping cream. Ahhhhhhhh …


8 cups (1-1/2") stale sourdough bread cubes (with crust left on)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (about 8), peeled, pitted and sliced 1/8" thick
1 teaspoon butter
6 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar
Heavy whipping cream for drizzling, optional

Arrange a rack in middle of oven and put large baking sheet on rack below it, to catch any drips. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, toss together bread, buttermilk, heavy cream, milk, raisins, and nutmeg and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, toss together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and peaches, to coat; set aside.
Grease 9x13" casserole dish with butter. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar in medium bowl, then add to the bread mixture. Add macerated peaches and stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, covering with a sheet of foil if parts of top get too dark, about 1-1/4 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with a drizzle of cream, if desired.
(Recipe by Alma and Rey Gonzales.)

No comments: