Comfort Food Refined

Bread puddings are from a simpler era when home cooks used up stale bread and mixed it with milk, eggs, sugar, dried fruit and spices. Bread pudding knows no geographic limits— its variations are still made throughout the world.

This Amaretto Bread Pudding uses the basic ingredients with some refined tweaks. Before serving, the pudding is topped with an amaretto sauce and put under the broiler. Bookmark this one, because it’s the perfect fall dessert.

Amaretto Bread Pudding

The recipe is inspired from a 1989 bon appétit magazine issue. I lost the recipe and couldn’t find the precise recipe on a Google search. But I replicated the flavors and texture in my test kitchen. I nailed it!

Pudding:

  • 1 loaf challah bread, approximately one-pound loaf, torn into one-inch pieces
  • 1 quart half and half (Note: I did one batch with fat-free milk and, although a little less rich, it was delicious, so milk is a fine low-fat alternative)
  • 1-1/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • Butter, unsalted and at room temperature, for greasing a 9” x 13” baking pan

Combine bread and half and half in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease pan with butter.

Whisk sugar, eggs and almond extract together. Stir into bread mixture. Gently fold in almonds and raisins. Spoon into baking dish.

Bake 50-55 minutes until firm. Cool. Can be prepared a day ahead (do not refrigerate).

Amaretto Sauce:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur

Stir sugar and butter in top of a double boiler until sugar dissolves and mixture it very hot. Remove from heat and whisk in egg a little bit at a time until mixed well and slightly cool. Whisk in amaretto liqueur. Sauce can be prepared ahead and refrigerated.

When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Cut pudding into squares. Spoon amaretto sauce on squares and broil until bubbly.

Amaretto Bread Pudding makes a lovely dessert to take to a potluck party during the holidays. Decorate the tray with the colors of the season and label it for a buffet.

Amaretto Bread Pudding makes a lovely dessert to take to a potluck party during the holidays. Cut the pudding and decorate the tray with the colors of the season and label it for a buffet. Or table the dish it was baked in.

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