Friday, April 15, 2011

Comfort in a bowl...Bread and Butter Pudding!

My husband loves comfort food.  He loves warm, homey, rich, old-fashioned comfort food. This recipe is my version of an English classic comfort food, Bread and Butter Pudding.  It is divine…especially when it is a little chilly and you want something to warm you body and soul. It is very easy to do. I like it warm from the oven with cream poured over it. (hey …I never said it was low-fat or anything!)  This is an excellent way to use up slightly stale white bread. You can also make it a million different ways by using different breads, rolls, croissants, Panetonne, Brioche, cinnamon raisin bread…whatever!  I am a bit loose with the measurements here because it is a sort of carefree type recipe. You definitely MUST use whole milk and heavy cream to make it properly. Sorry…but that is just the fact of the matter.  You also want to butter your bread liberally…now is not the time to be stingy. We are looking for comfort food not calorie counting. So if your bread slices are bigger or smaller...you may need more or less butter...this is fine and it won’t hurt the recipe a bit. Oh, and if you don’t like raisins…leave them out or add one of your favorites dried fruits (currets, dried cherries,figs)... or maybe even chocolate chips?
 A glass baking dish works best.  Large enough that you can get several layers of bread (3 at least).

Bread and Butter Pudding
2 sticks of butter soft
12 slices of slightly stale bread (you CAN use fresh but the stale soaks up the custard better)
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1 tea vanilla
¾  cup sugar
¼ cup Golden raisins and regular raisins combined
Combine milk and whipping cream in heavy large saucepan, add vanilla.. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Whisk egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl to blend. Very, very gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture(start with a few table spoons at a time and KEEP whisking…you don’t want scrambled eggs!). Set custard aside.
Butter a glass baking dish. Spread butter over both sides of bread slices. Arrange some bread slices in single layer over bottom of prepared dish, trimming to fit. Sprinkle half of golden raisins and half of brown raisins over bread. Cover with another single layer of buttered bread. Sprinkle remaining raisins over. Layer with the remaining bread. Pour over bread. Let stand until most of the custard is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Bake pudding until custard thickens and begins to set, about 20-40 minutes.  There is a big difference in time because it will depend on the type of bread and how many layers you did. Then sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar and broil VERY CAREFULLY until the pudding begins to brown slightly. Be CAREFUL it is very easy to burn the top. If you prefer a less sweet pudding simply skip this step… Serve warm. (with ice cream, or in a bowl with heavy cream drizzled over is divine)

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