Comfort: The definition of comfort as noted per dictionary.com is to soothe, console or reassure; bring cheer to.
The kitchen is a place of absolute comfort for me and I like to imagine that the dishes I create bring that feeling to others, which is why bread pudding is frequently on the menu at our house. It is my ultimate “comfort food”. There is something about the chunky cubes of brioche, challah or French bread soaked in custard and baked that takes me to a place of instant contentment.
This dessert can be prepared in a 4 to 6 cup baking dish or to add some whimsy, portion it into smaller, cast iron skillets. I made this recipe last weekend for a small group of friends and each pan was easily shared between 2-3 people.
The skillets are the Lodge brand heat-treated, cast iron round mini servers.
Blueberry Bread Pudding
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 cups of challah, brioche or French bread, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue stirring until the butter melts; remove from heat and cool completely. Whisk the eggs into the cooled mixture. Meanwhile, butter the cast iron pans and set aside.
- Place cubed bread into a large bowl and pour the cooled milk mixture over it. Stir until combined and let soak for at least 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the liquid. Add blueberries and stir gently.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges of the bread are golden in color and the pudding is wobbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Optional Topping: Cointreau Laced Whipped Cream
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar ( or more depending on the desired sweetness)
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau, J.Carver Sevilla or other orange liqueur
Place all ingredients in a medium size chilled metal bowl. Beat until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight covered container for up to 8 hours.
A quick sprinkle of grated orange peel on top of the cream would also add a beautiful touch.
Happy Spring 2017!!