Creme Brulee and Bread pudding are two things that never occurred to me growing up. Creme Brulee was much to bourgeois for a kid who raised pigs in her back yard and bread pudding sounded like something you ate over Bingo hoping the Polident didn’t give out. As real life grown up, I realized that these are both really simple desserts that have a versatility and beautiful creaminess that have earned themselves a place in my kitchen. Bread pudding has been my way to use up the last bit of homemade pastries, cinnamon rolls and raisin bread that I hate to throw out but go stale so quickly. And Creme Brulee is so easy and lovely, lending itself very well to a multitude of flavors, it tends to be a Go-To for me when I’m a loss for what to serve.
Mixed together, it’s fairly addictive, easy to make and has a homestyle fanciness that’s perfect for so many get togethers.
Creme Brulee Bread Pudding
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp slt
1/4 cup granulated sugar for brulee crust topping
3 cups bread, crust removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 300.
In a bowl, combine the yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk until light and frothy. In a pot, combine the cream, salt and vanilla and heat until steamy but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. While you whisk the eggs, slowly, slowly add the cream, whisking until combined. If there are any lumps or “eggy bits” in your cream mixture (possibly because you didn’t let your cream cool down) strain the custard through a mesh strainer.
Assemble 6 ceramic ramekins, or individual oven safe serving bowls in a baking dish. Add the bread cubes to each dish, pressing down a little bit to compact.
Pour into the custard over the bread until covered.
Add hot water to the baking dish until about half filled, the water rising to about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake at 300 until the custard no longer wobbles when the rack is shaken, about 20-25 minutes (this is not a “tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean” situation).
Refridgerate until set, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, top the creme brulee with an even layer of granulated sugar. Pass the flame of a kitchen torch slowly and evenly over the sugar until it’s liquified and a light amber colored. Serve immediately. The sugar crust will start to break down after about an hour.