Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bread-and-Butter Fruit Pudding

To try a bread pudding has been on my list for a while now, but I had not found a recipe that looked good. This one comes from The Practical Housekeeper, 1855. Bread-and-Butter Fruit Pudding can be found on page 69.

The recipe seems simple enough. One pound of light bread, I chose a whole loaf of white bread from the grocery store bakery, and sliced it thin as directed, now, I am horrible at slicing bread, so by the end of the loaf it was a squished mess!  After the bread was sliced, I started lying it in the bottom of a glass baking dish. I chose unsalted butter, at room temperature for easy spreading, and gave each slice a liberal spreading of butter.  Since you can choose any type of fruit, I went with the traditional raisins & dates (also DH loves these!). Layer the bread & fruit until you are out of bread.  My dish was quite full to the top with the bread &  fruit. 
Next, the "pudding". Beat 8 eggs, yes 8! In order to keep measurements close to originals I use medium eggs. Beat those to break the yolks, then add in the 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, mix well. Then add the milk, three pints (equals 6 cups) and nutmeg. Half of a grated nutmeg. Well, I am unable to find whole nutmegs at my local store, so I guessed on how much ground nutmeg to use. And judging on the amount of bread & milk in this recipe I went with a scant tablespoon of ground nutmeg.  
The liquid gets poured over the bread & fruit. I would really recommend using a deep baking dish or even a bowl to bake this pudding in as there is a lot of milk & egg  that goes into this thing. I let the bread soak  for about 20 minutes to make sure it was saturated before putting it in the oven. 
Pudding just put in the oven!
The recipe does not tell how hot to get the oven, it only states to bake for three-quarters of an hour. Gee, thanks! So, since 350 seems to be a general setting, I put the pudding in at 350 for 45 minutes.  The top did brown well, but I think my oven rack was a little high. 
The pudding did seem done after the 45 minutes. Let it cool for a while. After dishing a little bit, it did seem a little runny.  The taste was pretty good, but did seem a bit bland compared to other bread puddings I had eaten. 
This would be good to use applesauce or peaches, as the recipe suggests. They would probably make the whole thing a little sweeter.  I would still call this pudding a success!!

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