lemon bread pudding

Dessert kind of doesn’t get any better than bread pudding, for me. It’s just SO uncomplicated, so versatile, and so delicious. I don’t like super sweet sweets, so bread puddings just seem to fall into the right level of sweetness.

I grew up on my Mama’s bread pudding, which I still make far more often than any other bread pudding. It delivers a nice dense square, it packs well, and travels well. The lemon bread pudding in this post doesn’t even resemble Mama’s. It’s more of a cross between a spoon bread and a soufflé, and it’s so lightly flavored with lemon that you almost have to give it some thought to make it taste lemony.

I like food that makes you think.

Ingredients:

  • 3 rounded cups of 1/2-inch bread cubes (French bread works best)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 large eggs, separated 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom only of a 2-quart casserole or soufflé dish.

Combine bread cubes and lemon zest in large bowl. Set aside.

Combine whipping cream, milk, sugar, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Pour over bread mixture, and toss. Allow to cool.

Lightly beat the egg yolks, then beat in the lemon juice, and stir into the bread mixture. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold egg whites into bread mixture. (Get thee to a stand mixer, go.)

Pour bread mixture into prepared dish, and bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean. The top of the pudding should be golden brown.Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. (I skip the last step)

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