Sunday, November 1, 2009
SMS Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce
Finally - my turn to host Sweet Melissa Sundays! I love bread pudding and love trying new recipes for this classic southern dessert. Melissa's recipe for Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce was the first recipe I was drawn to from her book and I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to select it to make this week.
Over the years I have made some delicious bread puddings including chocolate, cinnamon roll, pumpkin, and even my own concoction of cranberry, orange and white chocolate version but this is one of the best recipes I have found. The pudding is light and not dense and soggy as bread pudding often is. It also holds its shape beautifully, making for a cleaner presentation.
For me, bread pudding isn't complete without a sauce and I have always had, and made, a rich sauce with a cream base flavored with vanilla and/or alcohol (bourbon is popular here in Kentucky). So, I wasn't sure about raspberry sauce and had intended to try it and then make my usual sauce. There wasn't any need to make my usual as the raspberry sauce is fantastic and the tang of the raspberries cuts through some of the richness of the pudding. This new twist on bread pudding also makes it somehow lighter and an option for a summer dessert.
As for the recipe, I didn't make any changes. My bakery didn't have brioche so I used challah. The challah was rich and buttery on its own and absorbed the custard beautifully.
Thanks to all of the SMS bakers for baking with me this week! You can check them out here!
Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce
The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy
1 stale brioche (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1 recipe Raspberry Sauce
Postion a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish.
1. Cut the brioche into 1-inch pieces. Lay them on a cookie shet in an even layer and lightly toast them in the oven to dry, about 10 minutes.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream with about half of the sugar, and heat to scalding, or until the cream is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges. Do not boil.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until smooth.
4. Temper the cream mixture into the egg yolks, pouring it little by little and whisking all the while. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Set aside and keep warm.
5. Place the toasted brioche in the prepared pan. Strain the custard over the bread and press down lightly with your hands so that all the bread is soaking. Let soak for 20 minutes.
6. Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with the sugar and the almonds.
7. Place the baking dish inside a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until set. It will poof slightly when ready. Remove to a wire rack to cool to warm before serving.
Serve warm from the baking dish with the cold raspberry sauce. The bread pudding keeps tightly wrapped in plastic wrap int he refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm before serving.
Two 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, or 2/12 dry pints fresh
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice until it come sto a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool briefly.
2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender, pulse the raspberry mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a resealable container and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Raspberry sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Shake well before serving.