A wonderful holiday breakfast or dessert, this cranberry bread pudding with rum cream sauce will warm you through and get your in a festive mood.
Remember that time I broke down just off a major highway, my knight in shining Toyota driving husband had to come to my rescue, we sat in at gas station for an hour in the blistering Seattle sun to learn, once the tow truck arrived, the problem was that I was out of OIL and then consoled myself with a *cough* few Skinny White Chocolate Creme Brulee? Yeah…that was not my finest day.
Well, once that happened I kinda went full on panic mode, car hunting. Nothing like an emotional knee jerk reaction to fuel a potential major life purchase… Yup, it happened. And we got a new car!
And he is so purdy! It’s a Subaru Impreza wagon. I’ve been on a wicked Outback kick for the last few years, precipitated by the fact that the 90 pound hound needs his own space in any new car we get – and the 13 year old Honda Civic just wasn’t exactly Labra-dork friendly. But the whole adventure was met with extreme trepidation – I mean it’s new car shopping – scary stuff. No matter how much research you do, what kind of game planning you do – I firmly believe that you can never leave a car dealership with a new car without feeling the need to throw up afterwards. It’s lingered since Friday and it hasn’t let up yet.
But no matter how excited I am about the new car – the 13 years and 212,000 miles I put on that Honda sure were special! It got me through high school and learning to drive a stick shift – trust me that was a terrifying ordeal, a couple of speeding tickets, trips to college, trips to the ocean, the mountains, axe hauling and timber sports competitions, driving countless 600 mile weekends to visit Ben when we were 5 hours away from each other for two and a half years, adventures to Wyoming, and of course, Huck.
When my mom got rid of her first new-car – a Ford Windstar that saw me and my sister through all of our childhood years – she cried. For years we’ve made fun of her for it – it was a FORD WINDSTAR after all – and it was transformed into a Mini Cooper when they made their grand US debut, it didn’t make sense to cry over a Windstar -but I can finally say now that I get it. It was like leaving your puppy at the pound. Heart. Breaker.
But I’ll get over it pretty quick once I get back behind the wheel of the new wheels. Here’s hoping this one lasts just as long and we can put some killer memories into those miles.
Cranberry Bread Pudding
1 load French Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup Cranberries
⅓ cup Rum
1 pint Fat Free Half and Half
1 cup Milk
1 cup Brown Sugar
6 Egg Yolks
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
⅛ tsp Ground Cloves
¼ tsp Salt
¾ cup Pecans, chopped
3 Tbsp Sugar
4 Tbsp Butter, chilled and cubed
1 tsp Cornstarch
¼ cup Rum
½ cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Butter
Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour bread cubes into a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until dry and crispy about 12 minutes, turning over half way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, combine dried cranberries and rum and bring to a boil. Stir and let the cranberries stew for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together half and half, milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and spices. Drain the rum from the stewed cranberries into the mixture and stir to combine. Reserve the cranberries. Pour the dried bread into the milk mixture and toss to coat the bread evenly. Let the bread and milk/egg mix rest for about 10 minutes. Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of a sprayed 2-quart or 13x9" baking dish or casserole dish. Sprinkle on half of the cranberries and pecans. Pour the remaining half of the bread mixture over the top and finish topping with stewed cranberries and pecans. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm and topped with rum sauce.
In a small sauce pan whisk together cornstarch and rum until smooth. Whisk in cream, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and whisk until thickened - about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cubed butter. Drizzle over the warm bread pudding.
Inspired from Cook's Country New Orleans Bread Pudding