I’m not sure why I seem to fall off of the face of the planet when it comes to this Blog? I love to cook, to talk about cooking, in fact, most days I’m completely obsessed with food, cooking, drinking and eating, but when it comes to the writing bit, I get all anxious and nervous. As in”what the hell do I know about anything to do with food?” Whereas in reality, I know quite a bit; having studied to become a cook and having cooked and baked professionally for a good part of my adult life…so I really don’t have any excuses. Well then, it goes it, again.
For New Year’s. I was at friends for their annual twelve course fancy pants blow out. I offered to do dessert and since I’m an old fashioned type I made one of my comfy old school desserts; bread pudding. I’ve used the basic recipe recipe for ages but change up the type of bread or fruit depending on what I have or what I feel like. Since this meal was a big deal, I used a chocolate panettone with dried cherries. It was delish, and somehow, despite the high brow menu, dessert seemed to put everyone in a happy mood as they headed out to face bone rattling temperatures and a new year.
1 lb. loaf of bread, raisin, challah, panettone, whatever you have on hand or love, cut into bite-sized cubes
3 cups 1/2 and 1/2 dairy-based liquid as in not a milk substitute
1 orange or lemon zested, again depending on the type of bread and fruit that you are using
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup berries or dried fruit
4 large eggs.
Oven to 350 F.
Grease a 9X 13inch baking pan
In a really big bowl ( a good rule for cooking is to always use a bowl that is bigger then you think you need) whisk all of the ingredients except for the bread and fruit. mix well. Now add the bread and fruit and gently push down into the liquid. It should be more or less submerged. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let the mixture soak for an hour, stirring gently every so often to make sure that all of the bread is moist.
After the hour is up, pour the mixture into the greased pan and pop it in the oven. Bake until an inserted knife comes out clean, depending on your oven, usually about an hour.
Serve warm with either ice cream, whipped cream, custard sauce spiked with Bourbon or all of the above. After all, it’s a New Year and your resolution to eat better can wait.
The picture is my bread pudding prep, before adding the liquid. It was 4am and not “a creature was stirring…except for me and it was someone else’s kitchen)