Peach and Blackberry Bread Pudding
Somewhere between “eww, my parents eat that,” and “eww, isn’t that a really old dish the british use to make with left over bread?” I wrote off bread pudding as a gross adult-only, antiquated dessert. I would despise the gooey dessert from afar anytime my parents would order it, wondering how anyone could enjoy the shapeless mush. I could only assume it was a dessert made for the teethless older generation. Or maybe it was something that happened to my father when he was in boarding school–the ruler-carrying nuns must have forced bread pudding on him until he liked it, needed it. What never crossed my mind was the possibility that this bready, custardy, sweet dessert was just plain scrumptious.
Then one friday a few months ago, I found myself with a bounty of left over, stale bread from a week of baking homemade breads. Being a lover of bread, the thought of letting it go to waste was too much. I started shoveling the not-so-fresh bread into my mouth. That idea didn’t last long. I then considered feeding the neighborhood birds but quickly decided against that as visions of Hitchcock’s Birds began popping into my head. What can someone do with a big pile of left over bread?
A whisper then emerged from the other room, “Bread pudding!”
“How dare someone speak those words in this house?!” I retort. As if to prove a point, I flip through my favorite pastry book expecting not to find this weird dessert. Then I come across a delicious-enough sounding recipe. Could my favorite pastry chef and favorite pastry book really support this pudding dessert? What soon emerged from my oven later that day was pure deliciousness. My mind was instantly changed. How could I, a bread lover, a custard lover, a dessert love, have been so blind?
When I found myself with a heap of left over bread yesterday I knew instantly what it would become. Actually to be completely honest, I baked one of the loafs just for the bread pudding–is that cheating? The other loaf just happened to be the perfect loaf for bread pudding, a sweet challah loaf. This recipe involves toasting the bread before using it for the pudding so if you’re like me and feel like using a fresh loaf of bread you wont run into any problems.
Bread pudding is a fairly straight forward recipe but it does have a few different parts. It’s not the quickest dessert either, as it needs to rest overnight in the refrigerator, but it is well worth it. When choosing bread any variety will work and half the fun is trying new combinations. If you have control over the bread you use I suggest using sweet varieties. I used a loaf of challah and a loaf of cinnamon, raisin and pecan swirl bread. You can of course use just one type including a simple white loaf. Many recipes suggest removing the crust but since the crust is my favorite part of bread I leave it on.
I also decided to change it up and add some of my favorite summer fruit, peach and blackberries. I threw them in between the two bread layers to add a little extra sweetness and a bit of tartness. Remember that time I promised y’all a super delicious blackberry recipe in my Blackberry Chocolate Cake post? Is this that recipe? It is super delicious. It has blackberries in it. But the star in this dish is the bread pudding. The blackberries and peaches simply add a couple more notes. So no, this isn’t that BLACKBERRY YUM recipe. This is my BREAD PUDDING OMG YUM I JUST ATE A POUND OF IT recipe. You’ll just have to wait a little bit more for that all-blackberry recipe. Until then enjoy this insanely scrumptious bread pudding recipe.
This recipe is inspired by and modified from a Bo Friberg recipe.
Peach and Blackberry Bread Pudding
Ingredients Bread Pudding Main Ingredients 1 1/2 lbs bread (about 1-2 loafs) 4 ounces butter (1 stick), melted 1 large peach, chopped 1 cup blackberries Custard 4 ounces butter (1 stick), softened 3 ounces brown sugar 3 ounces granulated sugar 6 whole eggs 1 1/2 cups warm milk 1/4 cup good dark rum 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 1 cup cream Streusel Topping 2 ounces brown sugar 2 ounces white sugar 4 ounces cold butter 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 5 ounces flour Whipped Cream Rum Sauce 1 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup good dark rum 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Instructions (the day before/day one) 1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly brush a baking pan with some of the melted butter. 2. Cube all of the bread into 1 or 2 inch cubes. Brush all sides of the bread cubes with the remaining butter. 3. Place all of the cubes on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the bread begins to turn a golden brown. 4. While the bread is toasting, prepare the custard. Mix the softened butter and sugars together until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until blended well. Then add the warm milk, rum, vanilla, cinnamon and ground nutmeg and mix well. 5. Arrange a layer of bread cubes in a deep baking dish making sure to get the bread all the way to the sides. Add the diced peaches and blackberries on top of the first layer. 6. Pour half of the custard mix over the first layer of bread and let it absorb a bit. 7. Add the remaining bread on a second layer, making sure to get bread all the way to the sides. Pour on the remaining custard. 8. Cover the dish with foil then place a heavy dish that is slightly smaller than the baking dish on top of the foil to compress the bread. I suggest putting the baking dish on a large baking pan first as this part can get messy. 9. Place everything in the refrigerate and let it rest overnight. Yes. Overnight. This will give the bread time to absorb all the custard. Instructions (day two) 10. Preheat your oven to 350F. 11. Remove the heavy baking dish and foil. Pour the remaining cup of cream over the bread pudding. Allow it to soak up. Use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes in the bread to help it absorb the cream. 12. Make the streusel. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until crumbly. It should not come together like a dough. 13. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the bread pudding. 14. Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. 15. While the bread pudding is baking, prepare the whipped cream rum sauce. Whip the cream and sugar until it is thick but still pourable (don't whip it anywhere near the soft peak stage). Add the rum and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. 16. Let the bread pudding cool out of the oven slightly before serving. Serve with fresh blackberries and peaches and the whipped cream rum sauce.
While it may look like a copious amount of ingredients and steps, it really isn’t too difficult. It will take a couple hours over two days but it is definitely worth it as it should last you a couple days. It can be served hot, warm, room temperature or even cold though I definitely think it is best when it is warm or hot.
Do you like bread pudding? What is your favorite bread to use? And what do you like to put in your bread pudding?