Over the years I have tried numerous bread pudding recipes, I’m a huge bread pudding fan. I just love the stuff! It is a very comforting dessert…all gooey, creamy, sweet with bread and eggs. I remember the very first time I tasted it, it was at a restaurant while traveling in the South. I know it sounds corny but it really was, love at first bite! I started trying bread pudding recipes to duplicate that first one.
A few years later, I was visiting a friend in Texas and she had made a bread pudding, not knowing how much I loved it. With the first spoonful, she saw the look on my face and knew I was hooked. The recipe she used came from Helen’s Tea Room of Pasadena, Texas. We went there for lunch the very next day, I met Helen, and was given a little cookbook of recipes from the tea room. It contained the bread pudding recipe and other wonderful foods. Now it’s time for me to share.
Bread pudding can be served many different ways, I like it with the rum sauce but also enjoy serving it with caramel sauce or pure maple syrup. It is very versatile and sometimes I just want it plain. This recipe is a little different than most that I’ve run across in that it calls for evaporated milk. The evaporated milk gives it a special creaminess and while I’m sure you could just use heavy cream in it place, I keep cans of evaporated milk in my pantry all the time anyway. I don’t always have fresh heavy cream on hand, and I never know when a bread pudding craving might come over me.
The original recipe did not call for adding the seeds of a vanilla bean but I am such a vanilla freak, that once I started adding them, I was sold on the extra flavor they added. A good, sturdy white bread is best, it holds it’s shape better. I have used squishy grocery store bread and I have used homemade bread, it’s all good. Just don’t get carried away with the mixing. This is a soft, creamy bread pudding, I take it out of the oven as soon as it is set up in the middle. If you want it firmer, just add a little extra time in the oven. Meringue is also optional, but unless you need the egg whites for something else, why not? We love it!
Here’s a couple of pictures sized for Pinterest
- 10 Cups white bread cubes
- 1¼ Cups sugar, divided
- 2½ Cups evaporated milk
- 2½ Cups whole milk
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
- 5 eggs, separated
- ½ Cup melted butter
- Rum Sauce
- 1 Cup evaporated milk
- 1 Cup whole milk
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 oz rum
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes and the 1 cup of sugar. Add evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, vanilla, scraped seeds from vanilla bean (if using), and egg yolks. Mix well but don't beat. You should still be able to see some bread cubes.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center, comes out clean.
- While pudding is baking, beat egg whites (from the 5 eggs), gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup sugar, until peaks will hold their shape.
- Remove pudding from oven, turn oven temperature up to 450°F. Spread meringue over the top of the pudding. Return pudding to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm or cold.
- Rum Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in evaporated milk, whole milk and butter. Stir constantly over medium low heat, until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Add rum when cooled.