Cooking With Fire: Bread Pudding

Dec 14, 2018

Credit Justin Cary

Bread pudding, a modern-day comfort food, has interesting roots.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, bread pudding was not as common a dish as it is today. Instead, it was found in the kitchens of the lower classes in Europe.

These families didn't have much money, and what money they did have needed to be stretched to provide food for the whole family.

Credit Justin Cary

Throwing out stale, day-old bread was unthinkable, and so a dish was created that soaked the bread in a cream mixture that was then baked together to form a simple dish that, depending on the ingredients used, could go from savory to sweet.

By the 13th century, the English had begun calling the dish "poor man's pudding." But it didn't take long for bread pudding to catch on and go from the kitchens of the lower class to the dining halls of the rich. The dish has inspired various regional versions such as bread pudding with maple syrup, which is a favorite in Canada, to a sweet bread pudding topped with a whiskey sauce that is popular throughout the southern United States.

A favorite dish during the holidays, bread pudding is a dessert that anyone can master, and we hope you'll give our recipe a try this holiday season.

Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 18 oz loaf brioche bread, cubed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

 For the Bourbon Glaze:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

 Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to 350ºF, set up for indirect cooking.
  2. Combine the milk, cream, bourbon and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 
  3. Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a bowl. Very slowly pour in a small amount of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture while whisking. As you get more liquid added, you can add it a little faster. Do this until all liquid is incorporated into the yolks. 
  4. Grease a 12” cast iron skillet with cooking spray or oil. Fill the skillet with the cubed bread. Pour your custard liquid over the bread. Push the bread around to soak all the cubes. 
  5. Sprinkle the cranberries and pecans over the bread. Bake at 350ºF until the custard is set and no longer runny, about one hour. 
  6. To make the Bourbon Glaze, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Keep warm until the bread pudding is finished.
  7. After removing the bread pudding from the grill, pour the Bourbon Glaze over the top and scoop to serve.
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