July 17, 2011

Blueberry, Lemon and Ginger Bread Pudding


Lest you think I’m completely crazy for baking in the middle of July, this is what the sky currently looks like here in Portland:


I’m actually wearing a sweater and jeans at the moment and I’m still a little cold. It’s ridiculous. However, it’s been great for baking with all of the berries that are still going strong in this wet, cool summer.


I picked a bag full of huge, super sweet blueberries at my friend’s house the other day and whipped up a citrusy blueberry bread pudding.


I think the key to good bread pudding is to start with high-quality, day old bread, butter it liberally and then toast it so it absorbs all of the creamy custard.


I used a French batard this time but have also had good luck with regular French bread and ciabatta. If you like a softer, more custard-like bread pudding use a softer bread.

6-7 large, thick slices of bread
3 Tbs butter + more for pan, softened
3 whole eggs + 3 egg yokes
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tbs for sprinkling
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs lemon zest
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup blueberry jam
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

Preheat broiler. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish.

Butter both sides of bread slices. Cut into 1” cubes and broil until barely toasted, turning occasionally. Watch them. They burn fast. Reduce oven to 325.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat eggs, yokes, milk, cream, vanilla, salt, lemon and grated ginger.
Let bread cool for a few minutes and then stir into egg mixture. Let the bread and egg rest for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour 1/2 of the bread mixture into buttered dish and top with half of the blueberries. Spoon the jam over the bread in teaspoon sized dollops. Add the rest of the bread and blueberries. Gently press bread into the dish. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the candied ginger.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until custard is set and top is brown. You can broil it for a few additional minutes to caramelize the sugar and ginger if you like.

Serve warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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