Monday, December 10

Berry Bread Pudding: what to do with leftover cranberry sauce

Thanksgiving was GREAT! I hope you had a good thanksgiving too. We watched football, devoured snacks, skyped with family members, played games, and ate huge feast at dinner time. We had tons of leftovers! Okay not tons, but at least 15 lbs of food. It was wonderful. Thanksgiving is the one time of the year that when someone says they have leftovers, you don't cringe. Probably because everyone has leftovers this time of the year, or perhaps because thanksgiving leftovers are awesome! My favorite thing is a huge turkey sandwich the next day with cheddar cheese, leftover turkey, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and this cranberry sauce. I look forward to this sandwich almost more than thanksgiving dinner itself. But something new happened this year. I ran out of turkey BEFORE I ran out of cranberry sauce. 

I had a cup of this yummy red sauce SO I made an egg-y, moist, decadent, sweet, breakfast-y, brunch-ish, divine dessert. It paired wonderfully with coffee and my family first thing in the morning. I could see this being awesome if we ever had overnight guests for a special holiday breakfast. 

This was actually the first time I had tried eating or making bread pudding. I know. My dessert world is pretty small. I was shocked how much I enjoyed it. I love the tart of the cranberry contrasted with the sweet sugar cinnamon topping. The rich egg-y bread along side the fresh apple & pear that are almost cooked all the way through but have a tiny little crunch left. The textures are great. I think you'll be impressed too. No one will think it was  just "leftovers". This brunch has beautiful festive colors too with the red pop of color :) Click here for the original recipe, it was adapted from 2007 issue of Rachael Ray's magazine Everyday. I am looking fwd to tweaking this even a bit more next year with more fresh berries! I think raspberries would taste excellent in this. Even though this is a sweet recipe I did cut some of the fat out by using white milk and buttermilk in addition to the half and half. The original recipe called for 2 cups of half and half and I just couldn't do that. It just seemed excessive. 

1 loaf of cinnamon raisin loaf bread, sliced (approx 1 lb)
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 Tbs melted unsalted butter (melting them seperately is easiest)
1 Tbs unsalted cold butter, cubed
1 cup leftover or fresh cranberry sauce
4 Tbs  + 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4  tsp + 1/2 Tbs cinnamon, divided
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 large apple, washed/peeled/diced
1 pear, washed/peeled/diced 
powered sugar (optional)
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (your favorite.... I used almonds)


1. Combine the pear, apple, 3 Tbs sugar, the lemon juice, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1 Tbs melted butter to a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half & half, milk, buttermilk, and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside. 

3. Prep a large 11"x17" baking dish by spreading 1 Tbs melted butter to prevent sticking. You can use nonstick spray here to make it a bit more figure friendly.

4. Melt the 3rd Tbs of butter. Spread butter and cranberry sauce on each slice of bread. Stack the bread into 2 stacks so they don't fall over on ya.

5. Cut the 2 stacks of bread diagonally into triangles. 

6. Spread out and stagger the first stack of the bread in the buttered baking dish. It will overlap that's fine just don't stack it in. 

7. Next top the bread with the apple pear mixture.  

8. Cover the fruit with the remaining triangles of 2nd stack of buttered cranberry bread.

9. Pour in the dairy/egg  mixture. Wrap the baking dish with plastic wrap and still in the fridge for at least an hr to let the flavors blend. Or leave it in there until the next morning and have a yummy dessert holiday breakfast or brunch.

    Directions (day of):

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven preheats let the pudding come to room temperature outside of the fridge.

2. Chop your nuts if not chopped. To create the topping for the pudding: in a bowl combine the nuts, with 1 Tbs sugar and 1/2 Tbs cinnamon. Sprinkle this over the bread pudding.

3. Top with the 1 Tbs cold cubed unsalted butter

4. Bake for 1 hour - will be golden and delicious and your entire house will smell like cinnamon :)

5. Let it rest for approx 10 minutes. The longer you let it rest the firmer it will be.

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