05 October 2010

Peach-Raspberry Buttermilk Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a cold weather dessert in my mind. Which is why, as a last use of the summertime peaches, this light pudding seemed a nice bridge from summer to fall.  Its got both that comforting, fall-time desserty feel to it, complete with a scoop of melting ice cream, but at the same time reminds you of summer with the light summer fruit flavors. 
I liked this so much I made both a large version and two mini-puddings to freeze for later in the season. 
The original recipe called for golden raisins, which I traded out for raspberries and likely made the entire mixture a bit soupy-er than it would have been normally.  If I made it again (which I'd do in a heartbeat, perhaps trying out nectarines, plums, or apricots?), I'd up the cooking time by 5-10 minutes. I further tinkered with the recipe by removing the nutmeg and cinnamon in the original, as they didn't seem to go as well with the raspberry addition, and instead added a bit of lemon zest, further reduced the sugar -- both within the recipe's custard, and in the topping -- and used raw sugar rather than the demerera or turbinado sugar as described. However, any 3 will do. 
Peach-Raspberry Buttermilk Bread Pudding
Adapted from the LA Times
8 cups stale sourdough bread (with crusts on) cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
2 1/2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (about 8), peeled, pitted and sliced one-eighth-inch thick
1 teaspoon butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread, buttermilk, heavy cream, milk, raspberries and lemon zest and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and peaches, to coat; set aside.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with butter; set aside. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt and remaining 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl, then add to the bread mixture. Add the peaches and stir well to combine. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle the additional sugar over the top and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, covering with a sheet of foil if parts of the top get too dark, about 1 1/4 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream.

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