With all of the beautiful cakes, the decadent chocolates and luscious pies, it seems to me that Bread Pudding deserves a place on the dessert table, especially at Easter. Many holy days serve symbolic food and Bread Pudding seems to be a teachable opportunity. It’s ‘the Bread of Life broken for you…’ It’s a rustic dessert- reminding me of that oft sung hymn ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ … Bread Pudding is a dessert made by hand with love, served humbly and simply among friends and family, even stretched to feed a crowd.
The Pudding and Sauce are enriched and softly scented- a very comforting combination. Wrapped in orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla and freshly grated nutmeg, the classic Bread Pudding is then dusted with unrefined cane sugar. Who would disagree that plain old broken bread is elevated to an entirely new life, beautifully sweet and dear. Just in time for Easter with its gloriously easy Southern Creme Anglaise… Here’s how you make – Classic Bread Pudding with extra easy Southern Creme Anglaise!
Classic Bread Pudding with Southern Creme Anglaise
A classic Bread Pudding made with a custard base that uses the old fashioned evaporated milk with whipped eggs and classic spices including orange zest. Served with a refreshing cool creme anglaise flavored with Bourbon giving the distinctive southern flavor associated with Bread Pudding.
- 4 Large Eggs (Whisked)
- 1 Large can Evaporated Milk
- 1-2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated whole Nutmeg
- 1 1/4 Cup Pure Cane Sugar (Plus more for top of bread pudding)
- 5-6 Cups Torn Day Old Yeast Bread (* I used 1 dozen small yeast rolls )
Easy Creme Anglaise with Bourbon
- 4 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream (Full fat and flavor)
- 3-4 Tablespoons High Quality Bourbon
- 1/2+ Teaspoon Fresh Orange Zest
For Bread Pudding- Whisk eggs until very well combined and slightly foamy. Add one large can of evaporated milk (not low fat) – whisk into eggs. Add spices, vanilla, 1 cup pure cane sugar and orange zest, then whisk to combine well. In a buttered oven safe bowl, pour this custard mix over torn Day old yeast bread. * Cover tightly and allow bread to soak up custard 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle remainder of cane sugar on top of Pudding. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until puffed, golden and glistening with sugar crystals. Add more sugar and orange zest and a bit of melted butter if desired.
For Easy Bourbon Creme Anglaise
Melt four large scoops of high quality Vanilla Ice Cream. Do not use low fat! When ice cream has melted – Add 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (if desired) and 3-4 tablespoons of high quality Bourbon. With a small whisk blend and keep covered and chilled until ready to serve over warm bread pudding.
Please use full fat evaporated milk and for sauce. Creme Anglaise is typically a custard sauce made with milk, eggs and sugar…which coincidentally is the same base used to make the custard base for ice cream! Hard sauce is the classic sauce generally served with Bread Pudding- most southern hard sauce calls for Bourbon. This sauce is chilled and a refreshing option to top Bread Pudding.
Now, about that sauce- a heavier warm hard sauce (denoting the alcohol) is generally served with Bread Pudding yet seems to be more suitable in the fall and winter. This sauce is cooler and more refreshing in Spring and Summer. And… The custard base of ice cream is strikingly similar to the famous Creme Anglaise- just be sure to use full fat ice cream!
Also, you may choose to omit the Bourbon and use pure Vanilla Extract ( one of the notes in bourbon), if you do, add Rum or Almond flavoring, adjusting the quantity to taste. The ‘sauce’ is wonderful on its own as well, if high quality ice cream is used. The Orange Zest adds a crisp citrus note for Spring; and it’s worth noting that spices played a role in the Easter Story as well. This classic bread pudding has an abundance of eggs which are also plentiful now. Eggs are symbolic in holy celebrations. And, I omitted the butter except for buttering the baking dish, if you prefer- melt a few tablespoons and pour over the pudding right before baking. If you don’t have access to raw cane sugar, use sanding sugar, you’ll definitely want the glisten when you pull the puffed and golden Classic Bread Pudding from the oven! Here’s wishing you a beautiful meaning filled Easter!
Love y’all, Camellia * All photographs were obviously taken by me.