Drunken 'Leftover Bread' Pudding

or dessert side dish, take two!

I first openly broke the dessert/side dish barrier last Fall with my Darling Sweet Potato Bites and I have been itching to add another recipe to that repertoire.  I love vegetables as a side dish, and will dive into potatoes any day of the week, but some days you just want something sweet.  And honestly I just don't see why it can't be part of the meal.  So this I bring to you as a side dish though it is just as easily a dessert as well - Drunken 'Leftover Bread' Pudding.

I like this recipe for several reasons:

  • It actually makes me like bread pudding, I've kind of had an aversion to even the idea of it for most of my life.
  • It uses up any leftover bread you have laying around, and I hate to waste good carbs.  I've been on a bread making kick since I received my stand mixer for Christmas and with only two of us in the house the two loaves of bread that each recipe makes does start to build up a bit.
  • It has that feel good, homemade flavor and feel.  Definitely a heartwarming comfort food.

So on that basis, as well as the photographic evidence below, I ask you to open up your kitchen to this dinner time delight.  Check it out...

1/2 loaf of leftover homemade bread or other thick cut bread (going stale)
3 eggs
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup golden raisins
Amaretto liquor
Cinnamon & nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 F

1. Reconstitute the raisins by placing them in a small sauce pan with just enough amaretto liquor to cover.  Heat on a simmer for 2-5 min then drain.  You want them to plump up and soak in some of that liquor they are happily bathing in.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, cream, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and raisins.  You can also add a tablespoon or two of the amaretto liquor at this time if you'd like, not necessary but it can add an extra kick of flavor.  Stir well to incorporate all of the components fully.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.

3. Cube the bread into bite sized pieces, you can choose to do larger but I like to be able to pull apart the bread and eat wit minimal additional effort so I like the pieces small.  Toss into the liquid mixture and stir to combine.  Let sit for 15 min to soak.

4. Stir again and pour into a 9" square baking dish.  Even out and top with reserved liquid wherever the liquid looks low or the bread looks dry.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bake for approximately 30 min or until the custard looks set in the bread.

Serve as a side dish alongside turkey, chicken, pork roast, or the like.  It can also work as a great dessert after any meal when topped with a little whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.  This is excellent for family dinners or when you have company since the single dish easily serves 6-8, more or less depending on serving size.  I have been known to make it for my husband and myself then scoop out servings to take to work with my lunch, it reheats wonderfully for a more unique treat, so don't let the amount it makes deter you.  Give it a try, add your own flavors, and most importantly - enjoy!

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