Sunday, March 2, 2014

Eggless Bread Pudding in a Jar for a FAT #SundaySupper

I love the whole frugality of bread pudding. It's hard to think of anything else that is so cheap, yet so easy, delicious and guest-worthy (not to mention comforting) than cubes of stale bread baked in eggy custard, jazzed up with whatever else is in your pantry and served with sauce, jam or nothing at all! My dad is one of the biggest bread pudding fans I know of, even though he's not a dessert fan, but since we never seem to have leftover bread kicking around he doesn't get it homemade more than once in a blue moon.

But sometimes the back of the freezer yields treasures that cry out to be used, even if they aren't perfect specimens of their former selves anymore. I had totally forgotten that we had stashed chunks of my mom's stellar Holiday Brioche in the chest freezer after the holidays until a bag fell on me and revealed that it was definitely past its "decadence date". I just couldn't bear to throw it out though, because it is so delicious (and fairly pricey to make) I wanted to salvage it in some way. I instantly thought of my dad (a long time fan of the fresh brioche) and as a result, bread pudding. While I didn't have any fresh eggs at my disposal, I did have chickpea flour - which has become my favourite egg swap for things like French toast batter. mixed with milk, cream, custard powder and sugar, it makes a sweet pudding that fries or bakes up with a hint of nuttiness - perfect to complement the sweet dried fruit and nuts both in the bread itself, as well as those I added later.

That said, I can't truly claim that my bread pudding is eggless - since I used the enriched brioche there is a trace of them - but the batter-custard is totally egg-free, and if you use another bread (I can't wait to try this with my Pecan Pie Bagels) you can take them out of the equation completely. For portability, portion control (and cuteness') sake I baked them up in jars, which is probably a good thing given the amount of not-so-good-for-you stuff going into them. But hey, if you're going into Lent after Mardi Gras, what a way to go!

Bread Pudding in a Jar

With New Orleans being home to the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the US, our #SundaySupper crew (hosted by Leslie this week) is serving up plenty of traditional NOLA fare like beignets, po' boys, and jambalaya with lots of cajun and creole influences. Of course, if you're in it for the sweets, our dessert crowd has you covered too! And really, it's not Mardi Gras without the booze, so you know we'll laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!

Here this Sunday's roundup:

Cocktails & Other Beverages:

Appetizers:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Desserts:
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Eggless Bread Pudding in a Jar
Makes six (2-person) jars, 12 servings
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
½ cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp custard powder
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
4 cups day old bread (I used Holiday Brioche, but would also suggest something like cinnamon raisin, a good French loaf or even honey-wheat bagels), torn or cubed - about 8 slices of a store-bought loaf
1 cup raisins
½ cup Craisins
½ cup yoghurt chips
½ cup chopped salted mixed nuts
1 tsp turbinado sugar
  1. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk together the milk, chickpea flour, custard powder, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  3. Add the bread, raisins, Craisins, yoghurt chips, and nuts. Fold into the milk mixture, then set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon soaked pudding into 6 (1-cup) wide-mouth jars or ramekins and sprinkle the tops of each bread pudding with sugar.
  5. Place jars into a deep roasting dish (that can be covered) and place on the oven rack.
  6. Pour boiling water into the pan to come a third of the way up the sides of the jars.
  7. Cover and bake 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the puddings comes out mostly clean.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes in the water bath, then remove with tongs.
  9. If not serving within 2 hours, cover and refrigerate.
  10. Serve the puddings in their jars - Warm, room temperature, cold, or reheated individually for a few seconds in the microwave - but always with two spoons and someone to share with!
*Note: These freeze well too!

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 285.8
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Cholesterol: 12.4 mg
Sodium: 140.1 mg
Total Carbs: 45.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 6.6 g