A classic dessert made with the simplest of ingredients. This Cherry Bread Pudding is wonderfully rich and flavourful!
One of my biggest adversaries in the kitchen is leftovers. Especially the leftovers that clutter up the fridge and never seem to leave. Recently I was cleaning the fridge out when I encountered two inhabitants who have been around for a while with no signs of leaving – half a loaf of stale bread and a bowl of cherries rejected by my family (in favor of the peaches we just brought in). I made peace with these leftovers in the form of one of my childhood favorites – bread pudding! Cherry bread pudding to be exact.
We never really had a recipe for bread pudding when I was a kid. My sister and I would just throw together the last few pieces of bread in with a makeshift custard that was always changing. The basics were milk, eggs, and sugar. If there was chocolate on hand, some of that would go in. If there was cinnamon or some nuts, we’d add those! Anything went.
Making this cherry bread pudding was a throwback to those days! I added the cherries that were on hand and topped it with some toasted almonds I found in the freezer and a dusting of crushed pistachio. It took 10 minutes to assemble and then another 25 minutes to bake (just enough time to go get the vanilla ice cream, which this pudding deserves!) The hardest part of this process is waiting for the bread to soak up the custard, but I promise your patience will pay off!
Bread Pudding offers a wonderful blank slate to which you can add pretty much any ingredients and flavours, so long as the basics are in place. I had a loaf of 4 days old bread ready to go. If you only have fresh bread then it would be best to cut it into cubes and bake in the oven for a few minutes – just enough to dry it out. When making the custard, don’t skimp on the eggs! I used 4 which may seem like a lot, but the bread will soak it all up. I used coconut milk in this recipe because I love the hint of sweetness it adds, apart from being friendly to my lactose-intolerant tummy! You can use any kind of milk for this.
The cherry bread pudding was wonderfully set and rich – not too eggy, not too dry! The juice from the cherries soaked in perfectly, giving the dish an extra kick! And the almonds add great crunchy contrast to the soft pudding. What I also loved about this pudding is the crispiness of the bread on top! It's perfect even without ice cream – which didn’t stop me from adding a generous amount…
So now my fridge is free of some leftovers and we’ve got delicious cherry bread pudding to eat for dessert. Or breakfast. Or emergency snacking. It's not going to be around very long, I’ll get some bread ready for round 2!
Cherry Bread Pudding
- 10- 12 slices Bread, perferably stale, cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp Coconut oil / butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Coconut milk You may use any milk of your choice
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 250 gms Cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one lemon
- Almond flakes and Pistachio dust for topping Optional
- Keep 5-6 ramekins ready. You can even use a small baking pan instead.
- Toss the bread cubes with coconut oil or butter in a small bowl.
- Divide equally amongst the ramekins. Place the cherries on top. Fit them in between the bread cubes too.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Pour over the bread. Press the bread down a bit so it absorbs the custard mixture well.
- Let the mixture stand for at least 30 minutes so most of the custard gets soaked.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 25- 30 minutes till the pudding looks golden brown on top and the custard is set. Garnish with toasted almond flakes and pistachio dust. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or cream. It's wonderful as is too. Enjoy!