Any civilization that enjoys bread has some sort of bread pudding. If you have bread, it stands to reason there will be left over bread. Until very recent times, nothing was wasted, and as most families kept chickens and either goats or cows for milk, there was also surplus milk, cream and eggs to be used up.
Today, with the reliance upon supermarkets, and the ability to freeze bread until it is needed, along with the ready availability of milk and eggs in almost any quantity, we do not have as much left over bread, milk and eggs. That does not mean we can no longer enjoy bread pudding.
But if you don’t have any left over bread, there is no reason to go out and buy bread to make a dessert. If you look in the back of the cupboard, you will probably find a collection of cookies, dessert cakes, and maybe even breakfast breads that seemed like a good idea at the time, but that the kids wouldn’t eat. The food was too expensive or you just thought it too wasteful to chuck it, but no one will eat it. So what do you do?
1. one pound of assorted cheap cookies, donuts, quick breads. Any one of them, or an assortment to make a pound
2. One quart (4 cups) milk
1. Break the cookies, breads, whatever you are using into pieces and fill up casserole dish.
2. Pour the milk over the top.
3. Use a spoon and lift the cookies a bit to allow the milk to soak in and to settle around the spaces.
4. Place the casserole in the over and set for 350° F for about 30 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and allow the pudding to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
If you like, you can make a sauce to spoon over the top. A traditional sauce for bread pudding is rum or bourbon sauce. Since you will probably be serving this to your kids, maybe that is not such a good idea.
What about some lemon sauce? To make a nice warm lemon sauce, you will need:
1. ½ cup fresh lemon juice
2. ½ cup water
3. ½ cup sugar (you can add more to taste)
4. one egg yolk
1. Using a wire whisk, whip the water and egg yolk together. Whisk in the lemon juice and sugar.
2. In a small pot, put a few inches of water and bring to a low boil. Place the bowl with the lemon-egg mixture over, not in the water, and whisk it constantly until the sauce begins to thicken.
3. Be careful not to allow the egg to cook. Otherwise you will wind up with scrambled lemon juice. Not good.
- You can vary the sauce by using orange instead of lemon juice, or half lime and half lemon juice.
- If you want some extra lemon flavor, put a little lemon zest over the top of the pudding one you spoon the sauce over the top.
- Best of all, you can serve this with a scoop of ice cream, and a squirt of chocolate syrup in the event lemon isn’t your thing.