Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deck the Halls

Happy Holidays, everyone!
It's that special time of year when friends and family gather around, the smell of baked goods fill the air and people are just, well, happier.
This Christmas I am back in Baltimore, celebrating the season with everyone from back home. Justin will be coming down to visit tomorrow and of course, eat.

Every year on Christmas Day, my relatives on Dad's side come over to share in the Christmas Festivities and then the day after Christmas we go to my Mom's side of the family's annual party. And of course, I have to bring something. I mean I do go to "The World's Premiere Culinary College". This is what I concocted this year. Yes, I know the custard ratio is wrong (typically it is 8 eggs to 1 quart of liquid) but this is how I was taught to bake bread pudding from a lady who had been doing it all her life in the basement of The Johns Hopkins Club.

This can be made the day before, allowed to rest overnight in the fridge and then baked the next day; it still comes out delicious. And as for the sauce, once chilled it will stay good for about 2 days.

Egg Nog Bread Pudding
Yield: 1, 9"x13" Baking Dish
1 Loaves of Italian Bread
1/2 Loaf of Pefridge Farm Cranberry Swirl Bread
6 oz Dried Cranberries
1 Bag of White Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 qts Egg Nog
4ea Whole Eggs
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Nutmeg

Rum Sauce
Yield: 16 fl oz
3 cups Heavy Cream
4 ea Egg Yolks
2/3 c Sugar, Divided
4 oz Light Rum
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Bread Pudding:
  1. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cut the two varieties of bread into 1" cubes. Place in the baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle the cranberries and the chocolate chips on the bread cubes.
  4. Mix the egg nog, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
  5. Pour over the bread cubes.
  6. Press the bread into the mixture so that all of the cubes are moistened.
  7. Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. After resting, spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the bread pudding.
  9. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
  10. Remove foil and allow top to brown in the same oven. About 30 minutes.
  11. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

For the Rum Sauce:
  1. For the Rum Sauce, heat the cream, 1/2 the sugar, and vanilla until it just beings to simmer.
  2. Combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a separate bowl.
  3. Temper the egg mixture with the 1/3 of the cream mixture.
  4. Return the entire mixture to medium heat. Add rum.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of the spoon and does not appear runny.
  6. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a preset ice bath. This is very important so that the eggs don't over cook and turn the entire sauce to sweetened scrambled eggs.
  7. Allow to cool before serving.

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