Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is one of those dishes that, like grits and oatmeal – if you don’t eat it..you can’t make it right!
I love bread pudding that is baked to perfection and full of chunks of goodness just dripping with syrup. It’s also a great way to use up leftover bread slices and buns. You know, the 2 buns that are left over because you had to buy and extra package to match the number of hot dogs? Yep.. those are awesome in bread pudding! Keep those extra buns, hoagie rolls, bagels, English muffins in the freezer for this recipe.
This version is based on my grandmother Mae’s recipe that I changed up to make it easier to make without compromising the flavors.
1 bag of day old bread
4 cups whole milk
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Zest of one lemon (save lemon)
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp. water
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees and cut bread into one inch chunks. If you have little hands in the kitchen to help – let them tear the bread into chunks..it doesn’t have to be pretty!
Place bread on a cookie sheet and toast in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until toasted but not browning. Allow to cool on the trays before using.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, almond, lemon zest and sugar. Continue to whisk until sugar has completely dissolved.
Prepare by buttering to grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer the toasted bread and blueberries in baking dish and gently pour the custard mixture in the baking dish. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the bread. Do not stir or at least be really gentle when pushing pieces around so the bread maintains the shape. You do not want a solid mass of bread baked in egg custard!
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the custard has set and the tops of the bread cubes are turning brown. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes.
While bread pudding is cooling or just before serving if you are making the dish in advance, prepare the sauce by placing blueberries, sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a soft boil. Drop the heat back to simmer and allow to bubble away until the blueberries break down and the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and pour into a serving container or allow to cool and put away until needed.
When ready to serve either dish up serving cups and allow guests to top their bowl with the sauce and whipped topping or pour the sauce over the entire dish and serve from baking dish.
My crew likes to create their own dessert so I will prepare the bread pudding and then serve it up in bowls with a table full of little toppings such as coconut flakes, the prepared blueberry sauce, whipped topping in a can, crushed nuts, and shaved chocolate. Talk about a fun time around the table while everyone enjoys their special dessert!