I deep-fried bread pudding. I really did.
I love King Arthur Flour and read their blog, Flourish every morning. They always have something tempting to share. Most recently I fell under the spell of Panettone Bread Pudding with lemon curd. Let’s look at this a bit closer. I love panettone. I love bread pudding. I love lemon curd. All things considered, this is a win, win, win for me. Making it a sure bet, is the fact that I had a panettone getting stale in the pantry. I considered making Panettone French Toast but that is so 2012. It had to be Panettone Bread Pudding with lemon curd.
The first order of business was to make some lemon curd. I don’t keep it on hand for fear of eating it by the tablespoon until the jar is empty. I make it when I need it. This time I used Ina Garten’s Lemon Curd recipe. It was simple to make, although I wished I had my iPad by the stove. I could have played Candy Crush Saga with one hand while stirring the lemon curd for ten minutes with the other. Next time.
The panettone bread pudding went together easily. I rather liked it cooked in a loaf pan, although if you like the crusty parts, there aren’t that many. I like the creamy part so I was happy. Michael tried it warm with extra lemon curd on top. He liked it but probably could have done without the candied fruits in the panettone. I thought it was delicious but I love candied fruits.
This is the panettone bread pudding with lemon curd, straight from the pan, unadorned.
In a moment of weakness, I envisioned this treat transformed. What if I dipped a hunk of bread pudding in egg wash, then dredged it in graham cracker crumbs, then dipped it in egg wash again, then dredged it in crushed corn flakes, then deep-fried it? What’s the worst that could happen? This, my friends. A bazillion calories of crunchy, yummy goodness topped with lemon curd, confectioner’s sugar and a sprig of garden fresh mint.
So, here is P.J. Hamel’s recipe for Panettone Bread Pudding with lemon along with my outrageous adaptations.
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups half & half (fat-free is fine), light cream, whole milk, or a combination of milk and cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia, to taste; optional (I used it!)
- 9 to 10 cups diced (generous 1" cubes) panettone or other bread
- a generous ½ cup prepared lemon curd, for filling
- coarse sparkling sugar, for sprinkling on top; optional
- ) Whisk together the eggs, half & half, sugar, vanilla, and Fiori.
- ) Put the cubed bread in a bowl, and pour the egg mixture over it. Stir to combine. Set the mixture aside for 30 to 60 minutes, so the bread can absorb much of the liquid.
- ) While the bread is soaking, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
- ) Stir the bread again, then spoon half of it into the prepared pan.
- ) Dollop the lemon curd over the bread/custard. Spread it out if it's not too sticky; though leaving it in clumps is fine, too, as it'll melt a bit and redistribute itself as the pudding bakes.
- ) Top with the remaining bread/custard, patting it down gently.
- ) Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired; this creates a crunchy/sweet topping that plays well with the pudding's smooth interior.
- ) Bake the pudding for 40 to 50 minutes, until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, in order to set, before slicing and serving.
- ) Sift confectioners' sugar over the top of each slice; serve with a bit of whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
- Or, bake as directed and allow to cool completely. Cut four large slices about 1½ inches thick. Beat an egg with ¼ cup milk. Crush two cups of corn flakes and eight graham crackers, separately. Dip the bread pudding in the egg wash, then dredge in the graham cracker crumbs. Dip again in the egg wash then dredge in the corn flake crumbs patting to adhere them to the sides. Deep fry in 350 degree oil at least two inches deep until crispy, golden brown. Be careful not to burn it. Stick right by the stove. Drain on paper towels. When cooled spoon lemon curd over the top and dust with confectioner's sugar. Top with whipped cream and a sprig of mint if you like. Enjoy! Then feel guilty.
If you aren’t a fan of panettone or you can’t find one, this would be equally outrageous with standard bread pudding, with or without the lemon curd. I even thought it would be great cut into small squares, skewered with fancy toothpicks and served at a party. How perfectly gauche.