We were lucky to have an early Christmas Eve dinner with two of our good friends, Richard and Brian. With Greg working part of the day, I had no plans to attempt his family’s ricotta cheesecake recipe, a holiday tradition in their home. I mean really talk about pressure. So I decided to make a bread pudding Richard featured on his blog. I made a few alterations, since I had some pears to use up and didn’t have cognac. I also couldn’t find brioche or challah bread, which Richard prefers, at the grocery’s bakery. So I used sourdough. I’ve mentioned before how popular bread puddings are down here and Richard’s didn’t disappoint. He is a Southern boy after all.
Richard’s Bread Pudding
- 1 pound sourdough bread cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 large granny smith apple peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and place the cubed bread on it. Cook for about 25 minutes until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove once golden and dry.
In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons butter. Add the apple and pears and 1\4 cup of sugar to the skillet and cook over a medium heat and stir for about 15 minutes, until the fruit is soft. Add the cinnamon and liquors. Stir to incorporate. Add another 1\4 cup of sugar and cook for 1 to 4 minutes until the the sauce is very syrupy. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk,vanilla, and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. In a large bowl, add fruit to the bread crumbs toss until evenly coated. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and allow to sit for about 10 minutes to allow them to soak up everything.
Use a tablespoon of the reserved butter to grease a 9-by-13 or an 8-by-11 inch baking dish. Add the bread pudding and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour, until the custard is set and the top is golden. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve after you’ve let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
A note: We loved the bread pudding without a sauce, but if you just have to have one, Greg made this wonderful whiskey sauce when I made a bread pudding earlier this year. I was feeling adventurous and was going to try a tawny port reduction sauce, but was vetoed. Everyone just wanted to drink it. If that happens to you do an end run around your guests, right to the liquor cabinet and reach for the rum to make this lovely rum sauce featured on Sweet Caroline’s Cooking. She actually has a bread pudding to go with it too.
Another note: This is the second time Richard’s showed me a trick or two. Here are his oven-crisped potatoes. Men are always upstaging me in the kitchen!
Just when I’m getting used to the idea that we have to stop using wheat around our place, you come up with this temptation!!! Evidently I’m going to have to find a nice gluten-free bread recipe so I can indulge in bread pudding again, because this is a beaut!
I love bread pudding. This looks gorgeous with the powdered sugar dusting.
I think I might be lucky enough to have every single thing on hand to make this. The bread will have to be gluten free of course…and the milk will have to be replaced with almond milk. But even so, your picture is making my mouth water!!
That looks scrumptious.
Another delicious type of recie I”ve never made at home, ony ordered in restaurants.
nice twist the use of sourdough bread….
Wow, looks like a great flavor combo!
I really like bread pudding but I’d have to eat the whole thing as my mom doesn’t so I guess I’ll just have to drool over the pictures. 🙂
That BP looks delicious, I’m sure Richard wouldn’t object to your fruit choices! I’m with the crowd, though, I’d rather drink the tawny port too! Happy New Year, Katherine!
it is amazing that you can use any bread, add some great ingredients and end up with a fantastic dessert! I usually heat some frozen berries for the sauce, so I need to start changing things up 🙂
Sounds fantastic! I can’t get enough of bread pudding lately. Never heard of toasting the bread before though, what a great idea. Thanks so much for the shout out! I know that you both agree that alcohol often makes everything better. 😉
I love bread pudding, but rarely get round to making it. But I do get to eat it as we go to a a monthly quizz in a local pub and at the end of the most truly nonsenseical quizz we get served a slice of bread pudding. A great way to round off a beery cheery evening 🙂
Bread pudding usually sticks in my throat but yours seems wonderful.
This is a good bread pudding recipe, nice to have now for those leftover breads
You know what Katherine.. I think me and you love different types of bread pudding.. because I love this recipe just as much as I love my grandmothers and your recipe as well. This is just amazing. Another recipe to add to my collection
I love finding new bread pudding recipes. I just made one myself but a much simpler version whereas yours is much posher and something that’s definitely party worthy. Lovely!
I love that all around the world we have fantastic ways of using up leftover bread! I adore bread pudding but have never had it with fruit in – this sounds so good and I love the sound of using pears as well as apples. Sounds like it was all a big success!
Love a good bread pudding! I do like the sounds of the apples and pears added to the mix.
That looks just wonderful. So tempting even though I try to limit my carbs!
I’ll add that rum sauce! But really it looks perfect with just the sprinkling of powdered sugar! Toasting the bread is a nice tip! And love the combination of apples and pears!! Great recipe Katherine!
Wow, Richard (and you!) do good work. The toasting looks really good. I bet it’s nice and crispy, but still warm and gooey inside. Mmm. Very nice.
Oh this one I must try for a family gathering tomorrow! Thank you again. Off I go to the grocery store.
This sounds delicious, Katherine! Nothing like a good bread pudding. They have been made in our family for generations.
This is a very good bread pudding, Katherine. Mixing the apple and pear, with a little Grand Marnier, sets this pudding apart from the others I’ve made. Thanks for sharing both RIchard’s recipe and blog. 🙂
Katherine, this recipe elevates Bread Puddin’ to an elegant dessert. Sounds positively lovely, and I love the combination of cooked apples and pears. What warming satisfying deliciousness!
Katherine that looks delicious !!!
OMG, this looks so rich and delicious. Love bread pudding!! 🙂
We had one of these on New Years and it was my first. I’ve been wanting to make one since. Now I know which one to make!
That is such a beautiful looking bread pudding! I will have to try the fruit in mine next time.
That looks so good and bread pudding is a favorite with my family. I have never made it using sourdough bread but bet it is wonderful that way. I need to get my sourdough starter going and try this. We love sourdough bread, too. I love the sauce on mine. Thanks for a great recipe. Have a good weekend.
Hah, I can relate about the men upstaging, Katherine. This does look delicious, though!
Wow, that bread pudding looks yummy!!!
Your bread pudding looks luscious! And I’m sure anything with Grand Marnier must taste heavenly.
I love the thought of bread pudding and even the taste and smell, it’s the texture I can’t get past…
I adore bread puddings! We’ll be making a savory one over at our place soon…
I love bread pudding–one of my favorite desserts! Looks very yummy!
I happen to have more leftover French bread, so I’ll be trying Richard’s recipe myself!
I adore bread pudding and this one looks so perfect and tempting!
Oooh – I spy Grand Marnier in there! That’s a pud I can get on board with, and while I’m sure it was amazing by itself I could totally be “forced” to eat it with some of Greg’s whiskey sauce, or Caroline’s rum sauce. It would be a hard push, but I’d be prepared to take one for the team 😉 (nom nom nom)
Love, love, love bread pudding…any flavor, type, sweet or savory. Your bread pudding looks just right. By the way, there is a local Nashville blogger whose entire blog is about “Bread Pudding”…I kid you not.
I’m so googling that!
I adore bread pudding. Yours/Richard’s looks fantastic.
Mmm, apples and pears! The toasty edges look like a nice contrast to the pudding-y part.
It looks like a perfect Christmas Eve dessert, Katherine! 🙂
While I am pleased to be given so much credit, I must say, the addition of pears was a brilliant touch. I plan to do so from now on. The meal was amazing from start to finish! Even after several drinks, when I awoke, I still remembered all the amazing flavors of that evening!
Thanks, Richard. We can’t wait to see you again. Let’s get Greg to cook, it’s his turn!
Now I’m craving bread pudding!
Great sounding bread pudding, Katherine. I’ll take mine with a little sauce, please.
That bread pudding is so inviting..
Toasting the bread is new to me, I must try it soon.
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Love this recipe! Especially the Grand Marnier and Brandy addition!
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