Lemon Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

Lemon Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

Printer Friendly Recipe

Recipe by Stephen Pavy

Serves 12

Serve with Joseph Phelps Vineyards Eisrébe

Several Hints:

The lemon curd can be made days or even weeks ahead of time.

The raspberry sauce can be made ahead of time as well.

The bread may be sliced and toasted a day or so ahead of time. This allows you to make the curd and the bread before the day of the party and to spend about 5 minutes assembling the bread pudding before guests arrive, just in time to let it stand 1 hour before baking. I always like to have the bread pudding baking during dinner: I love the aroma of it wafting out of the kitchen during the meal.

Overall preparation time: 35 minutes
Standing time before cooking: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes

For the Lemon Curd (yields two cups):
3 large whole eggs plus 1 yolk
1 cup Granulated sugar
¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Finely grated rind of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup Lemon juice

For the Pudding:
1 loaf (8 oz.) french bread
10 large  Eggs
1 ¼ cup Granulated sugar
1 qt. Whole milk
¼ tsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
2/3 cup Golden raisins

To make the lemon curd, in the top of a large double boiler beat the whole eggs, egg yolk and sugar to mix. Add the butter, lemon rind, and lemon juice. Place over hot water on moderate heat. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is as thick as soft mayonnaise. It should register 180°F on a candy thermometer.

Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep smooth.

When cool, transfer the curd to a jar, or just cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or longer. It will keep for several weeks.

To make the bread pudding, butter a shallow, oblong 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish and set it aside. Heat the oven to 350°F.

Slice the bread into pieces about 1/2" thick. Place the bread on cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes to dry out the bread but do not brown. Turn the slices over when one side is done. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat in the milk, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bottom of the buttered baking dish, place a layer of the bread slices. Each slice should butt up against another. Spread a generous layer of the cold lemon curd over the bread slices. You should use about 1/2 of the curd on this bottom layer of bread. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the raisins between the slices. Make a second layer of the bread. (You may have a few extra slices of bread that you will not use depending on the size of your pan.) Place these slices at right angles to the first slices to cover all 'holes'. Sprinkle the remaining raisins between the slices and spread the remaining curd over the top.

Now pour the egg and milk mixture very slowly over all of the top. Don't pour too quickly or you will mix up the layers you have just carefully constructed. With a bulb baster, baste the liquids over the top a few times to make sure the bread is completely saturated with the egg and milk mixture.

Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Before baking, adjust an oven rack 1/3 down from the top, and heat the oven to 350°F. Heat water on the stove for the bath (read below).

Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup sugar evenly over the top of the pudding.

Place the baking dish in a larger, shallow pan. Place the nested pans in the oven, then pour the hot water into the larger, shallow pan to about half the depth of the baking dish that contains the bread pudding.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is golden and a small, sharp knife gently inserted in the pudding comes out just barely clean. If necessary, place the baking dish under the broiler for a few seconds to brown the top just a little bit. I like this last step a lot - it makes the pudding look great and gives the pudding some additional texture.

If possible serve the pudding right away. You can serve the pudding at any temperature, but I prefer it right after it comes out of the oven.

Raspberry Sauce:

I will give two recipes here. One is if you can get fresh raspberries; the other if you cannot.

Fresh Raspberry Sauce:
2 pints Fresh raspberries, mash up a bit (save some fresh raspberries for garnish)
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all ingredients are blended.

Strain through a wide but fine strainer to remove the seeds. Refrigerate and serve the sauce cold or at room temperature.

Sauce can be made ahead of time.

Raspberry Sauce (from frozen packages):
3 pkgs. 3 packages (10 oz. ea.) frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
1/3 cup Sugar
3-4 tsp. Grand Marnier Liqueur

Drain 1 1/2 packages raspberries and discard juice. Retain juice from other 1 1/2 packages. Puree fruit, juice, sugar, and liqueur in food processor or blender. Strain puree to remove seeds. Chill until ready to use. Serve cold or at room temperature.

To serve the Pudding:
Use wide, flat dessert plates. Spoon or pour the raspberry sauce onto each plate and tilt the plate to run the sauce toward the rim. With a small, sharp knife, cut the pudding into squares and with a pancake turner or a pie server place a portion of the pudding on each plate.

If possible, place a few fresh raspberries on each plate, and a few fresh mint leaves. You may even add a teaspoon of fresh whipped cream to the plate: place a dollop in the sauce alongside the pudding and then with a knife or the side of a fork, pull 'curved lines' of the whipped cream into the sauce.