When we get to this part of Winter, that time when you have some warm days then Winter has a hissy fit, backpedals and becomes cold again, I start having major cravings for fresh fruits. Citrus is always a good bet since it’s still in season, but I want berries, darn it! Problem is, what I can find in stores around here, besides being outrageously expensive, has been shipped either from the other side of the U.S. or from another country altogether. So it’s no longer very fresh and it just doesn’t have the flavor that in season berries have. So I compromise. I buy frozen berries. Believe it or not, they are a damned good substitute. With any company worth buying from, the berries are frozen within hours of being picked so you are still getting something that is extremely close to fresh. You may not be able to use it in ALL the same ways you can fresh ones, but in baking, so long as you remember the rule of thumb to use it still frozen, not thawed, you can use it in a LOT of recipes.
You may know I love bread pudding. I used to hate it, but have come to love it since I began making it myself and realized it didn’t always have to be an insipid nursery food with no flavor. Like I mentioned to my husband the other day, I like foods with strong flavors and that includes in bread pudding. This one definitely satisfies. I have made bread pudding enough now that I have no need of a recipe; I just change up the basics to go with whatever add ins I’m doing. This one turned out wonderfully. You have a mild lemon tang and peel taste in the pudding with a bit of smooth white chocolate in there. Then practically every bite, you get some nice tangy berries. It’s bright and fresh tasting and perfect for this time of year. I loved this both warm and chilled. Warm, it’s softer and the flavors are more intense. Chilled it has the texture of a firm mousse, which I love. So far I’ve had it only with some cream poured over it, but I can see this going quite nicely with a berry sauce or custard sauce.
You know the drill… 🙂
Lemony White Chocolate Double Berry Bread Pudding
- 6 cups cubed Kings Hawaiian Bread (about 12 ounces or 3/4 of a 16 ounce round loaf)
- 11 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- zest of two lemons (about 3 tablespoons zest)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
- 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
- boiling water for the water bath
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 4 quart baking dish or 2 2 quart ones. I used 2 2 quart souffle dishes. Place the baking dish/dishes into a large pan. An 11×15 works well.
- Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.
- Put your chocolate and lemon zest into a medium bowl. Heat the cream up in the microwave until very hot, but not boiling. Pour cream over the white chocolate in the bowl, stir once, then let sit for five minutes. Stir well to combine the cream and chocolate and complete the melting process.
- In a large bowl (I know; lots of bowls. Have your kids, neighbors, stranger off the street or husband or wife do the dishes 😛 ), beat together the 6 eggs and the vanilla until frothy. Add in the 1/2 cup sugar and beat well.
- Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg mixture. Make sure you spoon out any lemon zest that may have sunk to the bottom and get it in there too. Beat in the lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for about an hour so the bread can soak up the custard. When ready to bake, carefully fold in the frozen berries.
- Pour the pudding mix into the buttered dish and place it in the middle of the oven. Pour boiling water in the outer dish to reach about a third of the way up the sides of the dish the pudding is in. Carefully push the oven shelf back in to avoid sloshing.
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 75 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and a knife inserted into the center of the pudding doesn’t come out liquidy and no liquid wells up in the hole left behind.
- Cool the pudding at room temp for about an hour. Then you can either serve it warm or chill it for later.
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