I’ve mentioned before my love/hate relationship with bread pudding. I love to hate it. More specifically I love to hate the insipid things that some pass off as bread pudding. Stale white bread from the grocery store mixed with 2%milk (or worse… let’s make bread pudding healthy and use skim. Ummm.. gag?) and a handful of raisins and some cinnamon cooked until it is a hardened pile of gunk. I’ll take Twinkies instead thank you. On that note though, I cringe every time I see recipes for bread pudding that use things like Twinkies or doughnuts. Even I have some health standards (says the woman about to give you a recipe using 3 cups of heavy cream. But hey! If it were also made with Twinkies, it would be even worse! So see? I DO care for your arteries!! I do, I do I do!)
I do though love to play with bread pudding. Not THAT way… get your mind out of the gutter ! I like to take flavors that one typically sees elsewhere (like my apricot white chocolate bread pudding that I more or less based on the idea of white chocolate dipped apricots) and turn them into bread pudding. So many things can be done with a loaf of a sweet bread (or french or Italian in the case of savory bread puddings), some rich custard and simple ingredients. You can take what started out generations ago as a way to use up leftovers and feed people a hearty breakfast (or lunch or dinner or dessert) and turn it into something that even die hard bread pudding haters (such as me) will love.
I decided I wanted to try a take on one of my favorite desserts; Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I didn’t want it inverted though. I wanted the bulk of the pineapple in it as well as the accompanying flavors (brown sugar and butter. YUM!) with the rest of those flavors in a sauce for over the top of it. I think this turned out rather well. I made it in mini spring form pans which technically are big enough for two servings. I say technically because I will stab with my fork anyone who gets near the one I am eating. yes, yes, I AM meek mild and gentle. Why do you ask? Back to the pudding…or…erhmmm, moving on 😀 The edges of these got all crispy and caramelized and sticky from the brown sugar and the natural sugars in the pineapple and that alone makes these oh so good. Add in the caramelly flavor of the pudding itself with the tang of the pineapple pieces then the creamy custard and rich sauce and I was in heaven. I am so so glad that I usually eat very little of what I make (as I’ve said before, I prefer to NOT weigh 600 pounds thank you very much) because then I won’t feel so guilty if I eat a whole mini cake of this.
Pineapple Upside Down Bread Pudding
With Creamy Pineapple Amaretto Sauce
- 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
- 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup, drained, 1/2 cup syrup reserved
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup Amaretto liquor
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup amaretto (or sub 2 teaspoons almond extract)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 loaf Kings Hawaiian Bread, cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 6 mini spring-form pans or a two quart baking dish.
- In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine all sauce ingredients other than the cream.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool somewhat while you prepare pudding.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla, reserved 1/2 cup pineapple syrup, melted butter, the 2 cups of heavy cream and the amaretto. Mix well.
- Add 2 cups of the pineapple mixture, mixing well.
- Take the cubed bread and add to the cream mixture, pressing down with a spoon, fork, knife, shovel, whatever makes you happy, making sure to get all the bread submerged in the liquid. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to give the bread time to soak up the custard mix.
- Divide mixture between 6 greased mini spring-form pans (or a 2 quart pan, preferably glass, could be used) and bake at 325 for about 60 minutes or until you can stick a knife in the center of the custard and have no liquid custard seep up into the hole.
- Set aside to cool, still in the pans, for at least 2 hours (or take one out like I did and eat it piping hot and burn your tongue off. That works too.).
- While it is cooling, go back to your sauce. Eat a spoonful and moan cause it’s yummy and just like the stuff on pineapple upside down cake.
- Add the 1 cup of heavy cream to the pineapple sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let simmer for ten minutes, still stirring often. Set aside.
- Carefully remove the sides and bottom of the spring-form pans. Put each pudding onto a serving plate and serve with some of the pineapple amaretto cream sauce