When I am thinking about desserts that could be called "comfort food," bread puddings come to mind. Our Southern ancestors wouldn’t dare throw away leftover biscuits because with just a little milk, sugar and eggs, these could be made into a tasty bread pudding. At serving time, they would sometimes pour milk over the baked pudding. Other times, it was served with a rich butter sauce.
This old-fashioned favorite can be as simple as the one made using leftover biscuits and whatever dessert staples are available. Then there are more elegant versions such as my Pear-adise Cinnamon Bread Pudding, made with large bakery-type cinnamon rolls and served with a white chocolate sauce.
The possibilities are numerous. You can use almost any kind of bread you might have on hand. I have heard of people who use hamburger buns to make bread pudding. This works as well as biscuits, French bread, cinnamon raisin bread or sweet rolls.
I have also heard of people who use doughnuts in their bread pudding, but I have never had any luck with this idea. To me, the doughnuts are too "airy," not enough density. This is not to say it can’t be done successfully, but I just haven’t accomplished it yet. I might try again later.
Sometimes instead of using regular milk in my bread puddings, I will opt for chocolate milk in a chocolate bread pudding to intensify the chocolate flavor. I have also used cream of coconut as part of the liquid for a tropical version. One time I combined a can of raspberries with milk, which gave the bread pudding a great flavor.
You can also use almost any fresh, frozen or canned fruit. Other additions could be nuts of any kind, raisins, dried cranberries, coconut or even chocolate chips.
Peanut butter chips would be great in a chocolate bread pudding.
If you like to experiment in the kitchen, bread puddings are a good place to start.
All you need are a few simple ingredients such as bread, milk (or liquid of choice), sugar, eggs and any other goodies you might want to add. Check out your kitchen pantry, refrigerator and freezer and start baking.
I have some leftover biscuits in the freezer, so I think I will make the following Biscuit Pudding with Caramel Apple Sauce.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 cups coarsely crumbled biscuits, packed
- 1 quart milk
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
In large bowl, combine biscuits, milk and raisins. Stir to mix.
In another bowl, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Add to biscuit mixture and mix well. Pour into baking pan.
Bake for 1 hour. Serve with Caramel Apple Sauce.
CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
- ½ cup butter
- ⅔ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
Combine butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and water in medium saucepan. Mix well. Be sure that the yolk is well mixed with other ingredients before cooking. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in apple juice.
Serve warm with bread pudding.
Contact Prudence Hilburn at email@example.com. This column was published previously in The Anniston Star.