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Family Recipe Friday - Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is one dessert that has a long history dating back to 13th century England. Many cultures today have variances of the sweet dessert.

The recipe originated as a means for using up old stale bread. The bread was moistened in water and sweetened with some sugar and spices. Today bread puddings are made from a wide range of breads including brioche, challah, croissant and panettone and are moistened in a custard sauce of milk, eggs and sugar and butter. You can add chopped nuts, pieces of chocolate, lemon or orange zest, a little liqueur, candied or dried fruits.
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  I have tried bread puddings in some nice restaurants, however,  I have yet to have one that compares to my Mom’s recipe. Take a step back in time and make a bread pudding this weekend adding your own twist on this classic recipe.

Mom’s Bread Pudding 

12 – one-inch slices day old bread (suggestions raisin bread or orange cranberry loaf are two of my mother’s favourites to use.) She also sometimes soaks the bread in Grand Marnier, but feel free to use whatever you want.
 3 1/4 cups of milk
5 eggs beaten
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cups melted butter
2 tbsp. Vanilla

Trims crusts from bread and dice into 1 inch cubes. Place in buttered baking pan at least 3 inches deep. Scald milk slowly add to eggs that have been blended with sugar.
Sprinkle raisins and pecans over bread. Drizzle with melted butter.
Add vanilla to milk mixture, pour over bread cubes and set aside 15-20 minutes or until milk mixture is well absorbed.
Set baking dish in a water bath, and bake in 325F oven until custard is set and top is golden brown abut 40-50 minutes.
Serve with hot caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:
2 cups sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream
Combine the sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pot around until the mixture is a deep caramel colour and looks like syrup, about 8 min. Carefully pour in the cream and continue to cook for another minute. Cool to room temperature.

Looking for some other great recipes for this weekend, checkout our list of old-fashioned recipes by family historians.