Monday, April 21, 2008

Bread and Butter Pudding

We are not big dessert eaters; which is to say, I don't plan and execute dessert for every meal. We all enjoy the occasional sweetie, but The Child is the only one who regularly asks "What's for dessert". (Hope springs eternal, I suppose. She would consume her weight in sugar if allowed).

The thing about dessert is that all too often it calls to mind huge effort: separating eggs and frothing and macerating things, folding, whipping, and all the other (when you think on it) rather violent sounding contortions required for a mere slice of something after the roast, especially on a weeknight. Or maybe I just don't make dessert often enough and so make these associations because of the fuss I go to for holidays and occasions.

This is a dessert that bursts that particular bubble and that's a good thing because really, a sense of occasion is just as important as the occasional occasion.

In my experience a bread pudding has always been something rather heavy, studded with far too many raisins, not especially sweet and if there was any edibility, it stemmed from some kind of tasty sauce which did nothing to alleviate the overall density of the so-called dessert. (I apologize to those of you who adore that sort of pudding. You can have my serving).

This pudding is nothing like any of that. Which is why I love it. And why I make it every once in a while to the delight of the entire family. There are rarely any left-overs but if there are, they make a tasty breakfast.

The concept here is not unlike a pain perdue (lost bread), where the bread soaks in a lovely little bath before cooking. Which is probably why it is equally nice for breakfast as for after-dinner.

I serve this with strawberries but there's no reason you couldn't use any fruit you fancy and last night The Spouse was wondering if there was some whipped cream in the house (there wasn't). This is a dessert that makes a very nice starting point to any additions or amendments you might want to make.

Bread & Butter Pudding with Strawberries

4 large eggs
1 c. half-and-half
11 T. sugar
2 T. dark rum
1 T. pure vanilla extract
8 slices white bread (something like country potato, with a bit of heft to it)
4 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled & sliced

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 7 T. of sugar, rum and vanilla. Set aside

Spread top of each slice of bread with generous amount of butter. Cut slices in half on the diagonal. Overlap bread slices in oiled 9x13 pan. Pour egg mixture over bread and let stand 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400° degrees. Sprinkle pudding with 2 T. sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, and pudding has set, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine strawberries with remaining 2 T. sugar. Let stand while pudding bakes. Serve strawberries with bread pudding.


Willym said...

Bless you; this one is going into the files for those days when I get sick and tired of the gelato and want some comfort food.

Buck said...

Trailer Trash Twist on Leftover Bread Pudding: Roll it up in a flour tortilla w/toothpick, drop in deep fat fryer, serve w/whipped cream. From a spray can.

Sound familiar????

Miss Healthypants said...

Sounds YUM! :)