It’s summer and I don’t usually make bread pudding in the summertime. I save it for those chilly nights when we bump up the thermostat and pull our sweats on, and snuggle up with a good BBC show.
But thinking about that makes me hot and want to jump up and turn my a/c on a little higher. :)
I’ve been negligent this year when it comes to local cherries. I haven’t bought a single one. Usually by now we’d be on our fourth or fifth giant bag and be almost cherried-out and ready to move on to plums and peaches. I got busy, you know how it is.
Sunday afternoon, as I looked at a stale loaf of artisan sourdough bread, I mused aloud that it would make an amazing bread pudding if only I had some cherries. My astute husband observed that we still had a bottle of sour cherries I picked up a few months ago on sale (and just had to have), and he asked why I couldn’t use those.
So I did. We had cream that was about ready to expire in the fridge and a bunch of eggs. The rest is history…including the leftovers which my husband ate for breakfast this morning.
I gilded the lily by adding vanilla ice cream on top and a cherry sauce made out of the reserved liquid from the bottle. All in all, I think it hit the spot for a Sunday night in the hot month of August.
This recipe got a gold star rating from my husband, who doesn’t bestow the honor lightly on just any old recipe. Then he hinted that I could make this again very soon.
Sourdough-Sour Cherry Bread Pudding with Cherry Sauce
For bread pudding:
12 oz. stale artisan sourdough bread, cut into cubes
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (24 oz.) bottle sour cherries packed in light syrup or water
Butter, for greasing pan
Granulated sugar for sprinkling, about 2 Tbsp.
For cherry sauce:
1 3/4 to 2 cups of the reserved bottling liquid or juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with about 2 Tbsp. cold water to make a slurry
For bread pudding:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8″ by 11″ glass or ceramic baking dish. Place the baking dish into a rimmed roasting pan that has been lined with a dish towel. Bring some water to a rolling boil in a tea kettle or pot.
Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream in a small pan until very hot. Whisk the egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle the hot cream into the eggs/sugar while whisking. This will temper the eggs and prevent curdling. Add the bread cubes to the large bowl and gently toss. Pour everything into the buttered baking dish.
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid for the sauce. Evenly sprinkle the cherries over the top of the bread cubes and custard. Tuck them into any open spaces.
Carefully pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, making sure not to get any water into the baking dish. The water should come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, checking to make sure it’s still a little jiggly and not dry. About 10 minutes before baking time ends, sprinkle the top of the pudding liberally with 2 Tbsp. or more of granulated sugar.
Let the pudding cool in the roasting pan for about 10 minutes, or until the water is not longer scalding hot. Carefully remove the baking dish and let cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.
For cherry sauce:
Bring the liquid and sugar to a boil. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry. Whisk constantly and let the sauce come to a boil for at least 1 minute, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to serve. Store in a covered jar in the fridge for about 1 week. Use the remaining sauce as an ice cream topping.
To serve, place a good spoonful of the pudding in a bowl, top with ice cream (if desired), and a drizzle of the cherry sauce.
Makes 6-8 servings