Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cranberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Custard Sauce

One of the dishes I made for Thanksgiving was a Cranberry Bread Pudding.  Now, this recipe is going to look rather strange because the reason I decided to make the bread pudding was because I had a lot of odds and ends of sweet-type breads around.  You can just as easily use a loaf of cinnamon bread or even a loaf of brioche would be delicious.

I would like to add one other thing: this recipe has a lot (a lot) of calories.  Please don't panic - just make it once a year and have a small piece.  It it is rich and delicious and a wonderful treat.  :)

The bread pudding with the vanilla custard sauce.

The cubed bread and cranberries, ready for the custard.

Next: bring on the custard!

A rather poor picture of the finished bread pudding and vanilla custard sauce (this was on the dessert table at Thanksgiving).


Cranberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Custard Sauce

Bread Pudding

  • 9 slices cinnabun cinnamon burst bread, diced
  • 4 slices cottage white bread, crusts removed and diced
  • 1 finely diced French toast bagel 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
(Note: if you don't happen to have these odds and ends laying around, you could just use one loaf of cinnamon bread or brioche)

The Filling/Custard:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup egg nog
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 TB vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash cardamom
  • Dash ginger
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash allspice
Place cubed bread in a slightly greased 9X13 pan.  Sprinkle the fresh and dried cranberries over the bread and gently mix them through the bread.  Mix all filling ingredients thoroughly and pour over bread.  I used a 1/2 cup to slowly drizzle over each spot so the bread was thoroughly saturated (I have noticed that when you just pour the filling over the top (usually over the middle area), the edges tend to stay a little dry).  Bake in a 325 degree oven.  I placed the pan of bread pudding on a cookie sheet with 1inch high sides, and filled the cookie sheet with water - this creates a water bath that ensures a deliciously moist pudding.  I baked mine for probably 70 minutes, or until when I poked a knife in the center and the eggs didn't puddle around a knife.  Let the pudding stand for about a 1/2 hour, and serve.  If you are going to serve it later, put it in a warm oven or microwave it a bit, as it is much better warm!

Vanilla Custard Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  •  3 egg yolks

Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan until boiling.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until combined and a light yellow color. Temper the egg yolks by whisking in a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture, until you've added about half of the cream mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens, I think it took maybe 15 or 20 minutes? Remove from the heat and let cool a bit before topping the bread pudding.  That's it!  Enjoy!

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