Back in the kitchen again. My friend Lucy's husband makes a mean bread pudding (Lucy can make a mean bread pudding too, but she pretends she can't cook - she's my girl, so I'll play along). The bread pudding is so good that my mom and my mom's friend will ask me almost monthly to ask Lucy's husband to make bread pudding. Really people???!!! I'm sure he has nothing better to do…though, I know if I asked he would step up…but to avoid all the begging and guilt on my part, I decided to do my take on a bread pudding. I changed up the base and decided to use challa. I discovered challa bread - where else - on the internet. I ordered some from my local baker and I love the airiness of the bread.
When I started the bread pudding I starting thinking about, of course, what ingredients I already had in the fridge. I had just bought a ton of fresh blackberries and while the intent was to eat them fresh out of the fridge, I didn't see anything wrong with adding some bread, eggs, milk, raisins and sugar…don't you agree? It just made sense.
It was delicious and I was excited!!
But, after I took my second bite, I got sad. Kid you not, it tasted like the blackberry cobbler my grandmother used to make for me. As you all know, I named this blog after her. Mrs. Neathel Leeollie Warner Thornton (Nana). I love and miss my grandmother so much. When I'm preparing a meal for my family, not just cooking for sustenance, I think of my Nana, my Aunt Nella, or my mother-in-law, Miss Birdie. Honestly, I don't try to mimic what they did, believe me, no one can do that, I just feel their spirit…
They would probably think I'm crazy for not eating meat…..actually Nana would say, 'ah, Baby that's ok', Nella would laugh, and Miss Birdie would say something to my husband like, 'that Stephanie'….I love those women.
I hope this recipe will take you back down memory lane.
And please make this recipe instead of asking your friends to bake for you…I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
Blackberry & Golden Raisin Bread Pudding
1 Loaf Challah (cubed into one inch pieces)
1 Cup Golden Raisins
2 Cups Blackberries
1 Cup Pecans (roughly chopped)
1 Teaspoon Rum Extract
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Cups 2% Milk
½ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Salt
Spread the bread, golden raisins, and blackberries evenly throughout a 9 x 13 baking dish.
In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients to make a custard. Pour the custard over the bread, raisins and berries. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for one hour and fifteen minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Check intermittently, if the top begins to brown too much, loosely cover with foil. Once done the middle section should have a little bounce. Let cool for a minimum of twenty minutes. Serve warm.
Notes: This is a great chance to play with your food. Replace the blackberries with diced peaches, apricots, or diced pears. You can also replace the rum extract with almond extract (my favorite). I used 2% milk, most recipes call for whole milk. If you are vegan almond milk would work well.
Also, I put a cookie sheet under the dish to catch the spillage.
Nutritional Note: Good for the heart, body and soul.