comfort food thursday - the sweet spot.

can comfort food thursday be a dessert?
well, this week anyway, the answer is yes. because what is more comforting than bread pudding - warm sweet bread, cinnamon, syrup...i mean, really, it doesn't get any better than that. plus, this recipe is so seasonally appropriate and one that i think a certain member of my family would just melt for. thanks to the wonderful folks at farmplate kitchen for this decadent treat. happy thursday!

maple bread pudding
what you need:

  • 6 cups 1-inch bread cubes (about 1 pound) — red hen’s pain au levain is perfect here
  • 1 cup dark raisins or frozen sour cherries (on sale this week at middlebury natural foods co-op!)
  • 2½ cups half-and-half from your favorite vermont dairy
  • 6 cage-free eggs
  • ¾ cup vermont dark amber maple syrup (look for a grade A dark amber or even a grade B maple syrup. The darker color indicates a stronger maple flavor, which only adds to the richness of the recipe.)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
  • vermont creamery mascarpone or wilcox dairy vanilla ice cream, to serve (or my new favorite ben & jerrys limited edition flavor - ginger snap!)
what you do:
generously butter a 2-quart baking dish. combine the bread and raisins or cherries and place in the buttered dish.
whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. pour the mixture over the bread cubes and set aside for 15 minutes to let the bread soak up the liquid.

preheat the oven to 350ºF. set the baking dish in a roasting pan. add water to the pan to come 1½ inches up the side of the dish. bake for 1 hour. sprinkle the top of the pudding with the chopped nuts, if desired, and bake until the nuts have browned, about 30 minutes longer. serve warm with a spoonful of mascarpone or vanilla ice cream.
Serves 6 to 8.

Anonymous –   – (March 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM)  

Think I will serve this yummy dessert to some folks "from away" who are visiting this weekend.
With spring right around the could be the last opportunity to serve over the top "comfort food".

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