Monday, December 31, 2012

Blueberry Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise

Pssst. I have a secret. I don't really like bread pudding.

The secret is out and I'm a little scared to put this on the internet, but here is me being vulnerable. Now don't get me wrong, I will definitely eat the stuff and I've had fantastic bread puddings from M. Henry and Tartine, but I order it because it's the most popular item on their menu and not because I adore it. The paragon bread pudding is rich and almost cake-like, but there's something about the moist and gummy texture that rubs me the wrong way.

Despite my dislike, I've still attempted to make it time and time again, hoping that I would taste something that would change my mind. After all, bread pudding in concept is incredible. Warm buttery bread dipped in rich cream and sugar, baked til it's gooey, and drizzled with a rich, creamy sauce. I made a loaf of brioche before I left for winter break, and the leftovers had gotten stale in the fridge after a week, so it was time for one more try.

Slice half a loaf of bread (brioche ideally) into cubes and pack tightly into an 8x8" square pan.

In a bowl, beat two eggs with 3/4 cup sugar. 

To the egg mixture, add 2 cups milk and a Tbsp of vanilla. Stir well and pour over the cubed bread.

Let bread soak in the egg mixture for at least 15 minutes. Top with blueberries and distribute evenly. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and drizzle over the bread pudding.

Cover pan with foil. Sadly, I ran out of foil, but any kind of bake-proof covering will do really. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for one hour, then remove the covering and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

While the pudding is baking, make the vanilla creme anglaise topping. In a bowl, whisk 2 egg yolks with 2 Tbsp sugar.

In a separate saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of whole milk and 3 Tbsp heavy cream, stirring occasionally until it bubbles.

Pour half of the milk mixture from the pan into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add the new yolk mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk mixture. Heat at low-medium heat for a couple minutes until thickened, stirring frequently.

This is what the bread pudding looks like when it's done!

Did this change my mind about bread pudding? No
Was it fantastic? Meh. It is a decent recipe, yes. It has that soft, cakey, rich texture reminiscent of some of the most popular bread puddings that I've tried.
Would I make it again? No, this is the last time I will make a bread pudding. I need to stop trying to do this again and again because I know I'll most likely never grow to like it. But I might just be saying that. Watch what happens the next time I have too much leftover bread...

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