Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding
Food is comfort, and comfort is food–but nothing holds a candle to the food and comfort you’ll find at Grandma’s house. I think that belief is universal.
Visiting Grand-Maman (yep, I was French kid) was always a treat. Upon arrival, you knew that the old-fashioned candy dish was going to be sitting on the kitchen table. Whether it contained those chalky Pepto-Bismol Pink pucks, the sugar-dusted spearmint gummies, or Starburst candies, it was overflowing and ready to be looted by little hands. Additionally, if you wanted ice cream, you got it! But not plain, oh hell no–ice cream chez Grand-Maman was always drizzled with a soft caramel sauce that could make your toes curl and your teeth rot in the same sitting. I also can’t neglect to mention her Tarte au Sucre (Sugar Pie). You’d need at least two colossal glasses of cold milk to wash that stuff down. Apparently French Canadians like their sweets…
However, her talent didn’t just shine in the sweets department. She made the most wholesome pot of homemade veg soup every day at lunch. If I was lucky enough to visit after a recent trip to the neighborhood butcher, my soup would be accompanied by a fresh kaiser bun with thick-sliced ham, lettuce, cheese, and Miracle Whip. She also used to make this awesome “poor man’s” dish that was made with canned tomato soup, grated cheddar cheese, elbow macaroni, and parsley. (I still make that one–it’s my go-to comfort dish when I feel icky or sad).
So many awesome dishes; so many feels. I miss her beyond words.
Trying to decide on a recipe of Grand-Maman’s to reinvent as a nod to her was pretty challenging. In the end, I chose bread pudding–or as we used to call it in French, la Pouding au Pain. Haha. PAIN PUDDING! *punch*
What I remember about Grand-Maman’s bread pudding is that it had a nice and crusty exterior that hid a gooey and custardy center.
Ah, and raisins! Always raisins. I was really hoping to do it justice and I’m thrilled to say they came out beautifully! I think she’d be proud. I’m not sure how she’d feel about my addition of rum, but hey. It was just a splash or four…
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Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding
- 3 cups of milk
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of real Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons of spiced rum
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 7 slices of French bread or Brioche bread cut 1/2 inch thick and then cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 eggs, beaten
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, brown sugar, rum, and raisins.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until all of the butter is melted and the sugar has disintegrated (approx. 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, add the broken pieces of bread.
- Pour the milk mixture over the bread.
- With a large spoon or ladle, press down on the bread to ensure it soaks up the milk.
- Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- After 30 minutes, most of the milk mixture should be absorbed.
- Slowly pour the beaten eggs over the bread and stir; care to not break all the bread.
- Transfer the bread mixture to a greased 1.5 quart baking dish or greased ramekins.
- Bake for approx. 50 minutes.
- Let stand for a few moments before digging in.