Armed with a loaf of stale bakery bread and a pint of beautiful blueberries that weren’t getting any younger, I came up with a recipe for Blueberry Bread Pudding.
Really – I came up with it! It’s my creation!
When I enrolled in my first cooking class five years ago, my ultimate goal was to walk into a kitchen, see what ingredients were on-hand, and whip up something delicious. No cookbooks, no recipes, no advice – just raw ingredients and some ingenuity.
Half a decade later, I’m not there yet. I marvel at those who can create wonderful recipes – how do they do it? Maybe inventive chefs are like astrophysicists: they just “get” what they’re doing.
But I’m proud of this – a bread pudding for the summer months. It has a gentle sweetness with hints of vanilla, lemon, and nutmeg all supporting the star of the show: fresh blueberries. While cooking, the berries’ juice runs a bit, infusing the whole custard with its flavor. The texture is creamy and comforting, off set by a bit of caramelized brown sugar crunch.
Blueberry Lemon Bread Pudding
5 c. stale white bread, cubed (optional: remove crusts)
1 pint blueberries, washed, picked over, and dried
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 c. milk, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature, beaten
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 to 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter or grease a 9-inch square cake pan. Place bread cubes and berries in pan, tossing to combine. Place pan on a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, and eggs whisking to combine. Add lemon extract, vanilla, and nutmeg, whisking to combine.
Pour milk mixture over bread and berries. Weigh the bread down by placing a plate or pan on top of the mixture, held down with a few cans from the cupboard. Let sit for about five minutes, making sure the bread gets good and soaked.
Remove pan and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake pudding for 45-55 minutes or until a knife stuck into the center comes out fairly clean. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Allow to cool before covering; store in the refrigerator.