Amaretto Bread Pudding
I LOVE bread pudding. If it's on a restaurant menu, I invariably order it. I do the same with gnocchi. A good bread pudding seems to please everyone, including men, who often tire of chocolate tarts and souffles.
My mother gave me this recipe, and I think she found it years ago in an issue of McCall's magazine. It is so tasty, that usually my male guests ask me for the recipe! The original recipe called for raisins (I'm not a big raisin fan in desserts, although I do like them in savory dishes), but I substituted chocolate chips. You can make both the sauce and pudding in advance, and then put it together right before serving.
Be sure to make this with a good loaf of bread - no sliced supermarket loaves! I prefer to use challah or brioche. And use real almond extract. And, so, I present you with . . .
- 1 lb challah bread or other rich bread, cut in pieces
- 1 qt half and half
- 2 tb unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tb almond extract (that's right, tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup raisins (I use chocolate chips)
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- Amaretto sauce (recipe follows)
Combine bread and half and half in large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour, gently stirring occassionally.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 F. Grease a 9x13x2 inch baking dish with the 2 tablespoons butter.
In small bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and almond extract. Stir gently into bread mixture. Gently fold in raisins (or chocolate chips), and almonds. Pour into prepared dish.
Bake until pudding is firm, about 50 minutes (this will depend on your oven). It will be golden brown on top. Let cool.
Do not refrigerate before serving.
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
Stir the sugar and butter on top of double boiler (this is critical, or you will have a pot full of a nasty, coagulated mess), set over simmering water, until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is very hot.
Remove bowl from heat and whisk until cooled to room temperature. Mix in the Amaretto.
To serve: preheat broiler and slice pudding into 8 to 10 squares, keeping it in the original baking dish. Spoon sauce over pudding and place under broiler until sauce bubbles - do not walk away. It's really easy to burn the whole thing at this point. Serve immediately.