I made it to Friday! I hope you did, too! Happy Fiesta, Folks!
This week was very trying. Overall, not that much different from other weeks, except in the sleep department. As in, a lack of good quality sleep. Due mainly to the weather.
It’s really a lot warmer here in Seattle, and I seem to get up once it starts getting light out, which is about 5 AM! Marge, the cat, at least, is eating again. She scared us last week with her little fast. We were beginning to think it was the beginning of the end for her. She didn’t want to eat for about three days. It was probably just the heat.
Speaking of heat, a fellow Seattlelite, on her wordpress blog, wrote: “Despite the fact that it is summer and the heat has a way of killing our enthusiasm to turn on the stove, I did it anyway. I made corn soup.”
And that was almost the same sentiment I had, except that my result was a bread pudding. Same deal, though. One goes through this debate about whether it’s worth it to heat up the house from the oven, just to make something that one can post on their food blog. I started this blog last fall, so baking in the summer heat is a new experience for me. Never have I baked so much in such hot weather.
In order to get around the excessive heating of our apartment, I decided that I was going to prep this at night, and bake it off in the morning. Before I go to work.
The only problem was that the “Before I go to work” time frame wasn’t much time.
The bread pudding ended up taking a lot longer to bake, and so I ended up having less time than I normally would have liked to decide how I wanted to showcase this, take photos, and decide on which photos to show.
Instead I took it right out of the oven, set it on top of the stove, took about 5 photos, (instead of the usual 50!) and then had to call it a day, as far as this was concerned.
Anyhow, here’s the result. Bread pudding can look beautiful, I think, but it’s one of those comfort foods where looks takes a back seat to taste.
Oh, and I made the same caramel sauce from here, only I stirred in about 3 Tablespoons of whiskey, to give it some oomph!
Summer Fruit Bread Pudding (adapted slightly from this NYT article from 1992)
1 cup blueberries
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing container
14 English muffins
3 cups of whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoons cinnamon
Butter a 13 x 9 x 2 pan with some unsalted butter and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside.
Cut up the nectarines and apricots into bite sized pieces, such as 1/2 inch cubes. Or larger, if desired. Discard the seeds. Set aside.
Get three Tablespoons of sugar out of the 2/3 cup of sugar, place in a small bowl, and add the 1 Tablespoon cinnamon to the three Tablespoons sugar. Stir to mix, then set aside.
Split English muffins and lay on a baking sheet and toast in the oven on 350 degrees for several minutes until slightly toasted on sides, and significantly drier than when fresh.
When just out of the oven, using about 4 of the 6 Tablespoons of butter, slather butter on all slices, then sprinkle all but one Tablespoon of cinnamon sugar mixture on all the bread slices. Cut slices into 1/4″ pieces, or larger, if you prefer larger pieces.
Place about half of all the English muffin cubes into the bottom of the pan, followed by arranging the fruit over the English muffins, then topping with the remaining English muffin cubes.
Mix the eggs, milk, and nutmeg, vanilla, and remaining sugar together, and pour over bread cubes and fruit mixture, pressing down to ensure all the bread can absorb all the liquid.
At this point, you can either bake it 20 minutes after letting it sit for the eggs and milk to soak into the bread, or else you can cover this and leave in the refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours before baking.
To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over the bread/fruit mixture. With the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, cut up butter into small cubes and place on surface of bread pudding. When oven is ready, place on a baking sheet, and place in center of oven for roughly an hour (although mine took almost an hour and a half!), until top is slightly brown and crusty. You’ll have to be the judge of when yours will be done, because it may depend on how large your fruits are, the ripeness, and how much juice comes out of the fruit. This affects the moisture level, and after an hour, the bread was kind of soggy for mine, and so I needed extra time for the juice from the fruit to thicken.
Serve with your favorite caramel sauce, or the one from the link above, and/or whipped cream, and/or vanilla ice cream!
Thanks for stopping by!