My waiter at the Egyptian restaurant whispered in to my ear “I’m going to bring you a dessert that is magic… if a woman makes it for a man and feeds it to him every night, he will never leave her.” Was I about to find out the secret to love that women have been looking for since the beginning of time?!
Alas, what got placed before me was indeed magical, but not new. It was plain and simple bread pudding. It was bubbling hot, fresh out of the oven, and the raisins on top were the perfect amount of burnt. While indulging, I reminiced about having fallen in love more than once over the banana bread pudding at Blue Ribbon Bakery in New York (maybe there is something to this middle eastern love potion?)
Last night, I decided to try my hand at this so-called man-keeper dessert. Turns out the variations are endless: you can make maple and praline, pumpkin, or even banana rum. I kept it simple and used this recipe. Bread pudding isn’t exactly a summer dessert so I added blueberries and a little lemon– for zest.
- 1 1-pound brioche or egg bread loaf, crusts trimmed and reserved, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- lemon zest (optional)
- blueberries (optional)
- cream fraiche (optional)
Place bread cubes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Whisk eggs, whipping cream, milk, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract in large bowl to blend. Pour over bread cubes. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread into custard mixture.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange reserved bread crusts on baking sheet and bake until dry, about 10 minutes. Cool. Don’t turn the oven off. Transfer crusts to food processor and grind until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle 1 cup crust crumbs over top of pudding. Bake until pudding is set in center, about 40 minutes. If you want sprinkle on blueberries and lemon zest. Cool slightly. Serve warm with a little cream.