Our Father’s Day celebration involved grilling and baked goods. We started the day with a mini-bundt cake version of Alton Brown’s Strawberry Muffins. There may have been some leftover Strawberry Crumb Cake on the side too. My husband loves strawberry season. 🙂
Because he has been excited about experimenting with his meat grinder, my husband wanted to make his own burger blend for dinner. (This time, he used a combination of beef brisket and chuck steak. It was a success!) I made curly fries, corn on the cob, and a green salad with ice box buttermilk dressing to serve on the side. I think that he really wanted me to have time to focus on this incredible dessert!
This bread pudding recipe was adapted from Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks- a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. The “pro tip” in this recipe was to use melted vanilla bean ice cream as a shortcut crème anglaise to drizzle over the top. It was rich, indulgent, and absolutely fabulous.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 8 to 9 ounces brioche (I used 6 slices of Trader Joe’s brioche)
- 1 1/2 extra-large whole eggs (I divide an egg in half by weight)
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
- confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 7 ounces (1/2 pint) vanilla bean ice cream, melted, for serving (I used Häagen-Dazs)
- Place the ice cream in a pitcher in the refrigerator to melt.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, with a rack in the center.
- Cut six 3/4-inch slices of brioche. (Trader Joe’s brioche is pre-sliced.) Keep 3 1/2 slices whole. Trim the crusts from the remaining 2 1/2 slices; cut into 1-inch dice.
- In a single layer, spread the whole slices and cut pieces of brioche on a rimmed sheet pan. Place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, to lightly toast the bread.
- Meanwhile, make the custard. Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds in a large bowl, preferably with a spout. Set aside.
- Line a 2-inch deep baking dish with the whole slices of brioche, cutting them to fit in a single layer. (I used a 9 1/2-inch round, ceramic baking dish. An 8×8-inch square dish, or equivalent, could be substituted.)
- Distribute the diced brioche on top.
- Pour the custard over the top of the bread and press down lightly so that the bread is soaked with custard. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Place the baking dish in a roasting pan large enough to allow the baking dish to sit flat. (I used a large roasting pan with handles. I also placed a silicone mat underneath the baking dish to prevent it from moving within the pan.)
- Pour about 1 inch of the hottest tap water into the roasting pan, being sure not to get any water into the custard.
- Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting the foil to make sure that it doesn’t touch the custard. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until browned and set. Test by inserting a knife in the center- it should come out clean.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm, drizzled with melted ice cream.