Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

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I have a rather brief history with bread pudding, having tried it for the first time only this past New Year’s Eve. But oh, I was in love. Perhaps it was the chocolate, the Grand Marnier, the freshly whipped cream, the raspberry coulis, or the combination of all those flavors in bite after sweet bite, but I was hooked. First things first, if you are anywhere near the Pittsburgh area and have never dined at Dish Osteria and Bar, located in the South Side a few blocks off of East Carson Street, you absolutely have to go there. They serve authentic Italian cuisine with a focus on Sicilian specialties, and the food is to die for.

When I originally made my Top 100 list of dishes I wanted to conquer in the kitchen, bread pudding made the list due to my inexperience in both eating and making it. While I would still like to tackle a “traditional” bread pudding (give me your best recipe!) I couldn’t resist this when I saw it. Bananas foster is an incredible dessert, and to have those flavors baked into a bread pudding seemed too sinful not to try.

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This is a very easy recipe to throw together, and requires nothing more than a large bowl and a whisk – no heavy duty mixing equipment needed. I know some people are hesitant to set alcohol on fire (I also have an aversion to fire), in which case I would either leave the rum out of the sauce, or stir in a half teaspoon or so of rum extract once the rest of the sauce is finished.

It’s been awhile, but this is another recipe that Annie and I decided to tackle together, and we both agreed that this bread pudding was fabulous. It certainly has me wanting to try new and different variations on bread pudding, although I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to top the chocolate bread pudding I had at Dish.

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Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

3 eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup ripe bananas, pureed or finely mashed (about 2 medium bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1¾ cups heavy cream
1 large French bread loaf (about 5-6 cups torn up)

For the Bananas Foster Sauce:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons rum

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a large bowl combine the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until frothy.

3. Add in nutmeg, cinnamon, banana puree, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully incorporated.

4. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar, whisking until fully incorporated.

5. Add in cream and whisk until incorporated.

6. Add bread pieces to egg mixture. Miix with a spoon or spatula until the bread has absorbed most of the custard mixture.

7. Pour the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Let sit for 30 minutes.

8. Place bread pudding in a slightly larger pan and add about 1 inch of hot water to the larger pan to make a water bath.

9. Bake uncovered for approximately 1 hour, or until the custard is no longer runny. Serve warm with Bananas Foster Sauce.

1. To make the Bananas Foster Sauce: Heat a large skillet over low heat.

2. Add butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, just until sugar begins to melt into butter.

3. Add banana slices. Moving the skillet back and forth, cook for 1 minute.

4. Remove skillet from heat and add the rum. Return the pan to the stove and tilt the pan to ignite the rum.

5. After the alcohol burns off add the cream. Whisk to make sure it is fully incorporated.