Bread pudding . . . the name just doesn’t give a hint of what delights this dish can elicit. I think of it as “Lazy Woman’s Pie” or “Poor Man’s Cake” or “Desperate-Woman-With-Stale-Bread-Dessert” but in any case, it’s delightful. And the bonus of this dessert is that you can make it for your fourth of July celebration, because it’s full of red, white (if you add whipped cream, and of course, you will) and blue!
Take some stale bread, soak it in a mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla for awhile. Then gently mix it with fruit–in this case, rhubarb, blueberries and cherries–and you’ve got a dessert worthy of serving to any dignitary who happens by your humble abode. Add a dollop of freshly-whipped cream (or a scoop of good ice cream) if the Queen Herself stops in.
Why don’t more people make this? I honestly don’t know. But once you’ve made it and served it to your friends and family, you’ll get many smacking-lipped, joy-filled eyes’ requests for you to make it again and again.
Well, enough yakkin’. Here’s the recipe.
- 8-10 cups of stale, dense bread (I used homemade baguettes)
- 4 cups rhubarb, cleaned and diced fine
- 1 cup sour cherries, pitted
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten slightly
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash freshly-ground nutmeg, if you have it
- Crumble topping
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup butter
- Whipping cream, whipped with a few Tbs sugar, in case the Queen stops by
- In large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, sugars, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg to make the custard mixture. Add the bread cubes and let sit for 30 minutes, or until the bread has soaked up as much of the custard mixture as possible.
- Add rhubarb, cherries and berries and mix together very gently.
- Make the topping meanwhile, mixing butter and brown sugar until crumbly.
- Pour bread and fruit mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle crumble topping on top, spreading it with a spoon. Bake pudding for 60 to 90ish minutes, or until the top is golden brown and slightly carmelized. When it's done, a knife inserted into the center will come out clean.
- Cool, or serve warm with half and half, fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Yum!
By the way, this dessert is equally good if you use all blueberries with the rhubarb, or all raspberries, or a mixture in different proportions. Blackberries, I’m sure, would be delightful, as well. It’s a very flexible dessert!
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