There was always a bread pudding around when I was growing up. It seemed like everyone’s ‘go to’ dessert at the time. The ingredients for bread pudding are always hanging around my kitchen and yet I rarely make it. This particular bread pudding combines so many of my major flavor loves I am not sure why Joy the Baker discovered it first!
I took many liberties with this recipe. I substituted many ingredients and changed up the amounts of things. This was partly due to the fact I did was trying to create a hybrid version of a bread pudding. I wanted the flavor boom from Joy but with the familiarity that a family recipe brings to the kitchen.
I wanted to use a pretty dish which was not an 8-inch pan which Joy suggests. I ended up reducing many of the ingredients to half of the original recipe.
Then came my ingredient swaps. I had some homemade bread to use up so I used that vs. a baguette. I want to make this again with a baguette! Joy called for whole milk and I used almond milk because that is what I had. I was curious how almond milk would work in this custard type dessert. I also cut back on the eggs – I used 2. I also cut back the sugar to 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup. Joy did not ‘steam bake’ her pudding but I did. There I go, hanging onto my childhood memories again! This was perfectly sweet for my everyday bread pudding.
The end result? I loved the mashed banana flavor and, of course, the bourbon just stole the show. I think this is best served warm the day it is made – see the lack of whipped cream above? Yes, I was out of cream too! I did manage some freshly grated cinnamon and some cinnamon sugar sprinkles. I also wanted to try this the next
morning day to see how it would reheat and taste. The flavors are even better though I still like it best the day it is made. If you go down the almond milk path be warned that your overall dish will look darker and may have a bit of liquid in the pan – it did not affect the final outcome at all. I think Joy’s full out version would be fabulous at a dinner party….served in individual ramekins? I am starting to plan the next party now! Until then, I will leave my adapted version below!
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- 3 slices of bread
- 1 mashed banana
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
- slices banana for garnishing
- dollop of whipped cream, if desired
- Butter a small casserole dish and place the torn bread pieces on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the mashed banana over the top of the bread cubes.
- In saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, dash of salt and sugar. Heat this until warm, remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon and vanilla then let cool slightly.
- In a medium sized dish gently whisk the 2 eggs together. Slowly add in the slightly cooled milk mixture to the egg mixture as you constantly whisk to combine the two. (Note: you are tempering the eggs - go slowly and whisk constantly and you should not 'scramble' the eggs).
- Pour the milk mixture over the bread cubes and allow to sit for about 10 minute to allow the bread to absorb some of the liquid. Bake this in a steam bath (set the pudding dish within a larger dish on the oven rack, pour hot water so it reaches halfway up the sides of the pudding dish) for about 20 - 25 minutes until it is 'set' in the middle. Allow this time to cool before you dig in!