This is kind of a tricky post for me to write, because I really don’t like bread pudding (or rice pudding, or most custards). I’m really not a picky eater, but there’s something about the texture of bread pudding that just bothers me. It’s not quite creamy, it’s not quite a custard…it’s the dessert that can’t make up its mind. And it doesn’t have frosting, which basically means its not worth eating.
But I realize there are millions of people out there that adore bread pudding, and my in-laws are two of them. My mother-in-law recently had a birthday and since Ireland is one of her favorite places on Earth, I turned to my new Irish cookbook to find something to bake for her. Bread and butter pudding immediately seemed like the perfect thing to make (and my father-in-law ended up saying it was some of the best he’d ever had, so I know I made the right choice).
Because I won’t blog anything without tasting it (unless it has meat), I can say that this, unfortunately, didn’t really change my opinion of bread pudding. I loved the brown sugar on top, though, and the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors were nice but not overpowering. I guess you’ll just have to take my in-laws’ word for it: this is a total winner!
(adapted from The Country Cooking of Ireland)
2 tbps softened butter
8 slices good white bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally in quarters
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Butter each triangle of bread on one side. Arrange the slices in a 2-quart baking dish, then sprinkle the raisins over them.
Mix 1/4 cup sugar wit the nutmeg and cinnamon, and sprinkle it over the bread slices.
Beat the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then stir in the cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread and then sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until browned on top (and liquid is absorbed).
Some say it’s even better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight.