Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Drunken Blueberries and a Sailor Jerry Rum Sauce

More tales of leftover bread. I bought an amazing cinnamon brioche at Companion and have been eating it for toast. I've also got a half a loaf of some french, over a half of a loaf of plain brioche, a fresh stock of croutons and a tub of breadcrumbs in the freezer, so I figured I better get to the business of using this bread before it becomes a nice breakfast for the birds over in Lafayette Park. Brioche, if you're not familiar, is a rich, eggy, buttery tasting bread. Bread pudding is the obvious answer.

I didn't have any half and half so I had to run to the store. I also didn't have any rum or whiskey to make a sauce so I figured I would pick that up at the grocery store as well. Well, I don't normally buy booze at the grocery store. Randall's liquor warehouse is just a couple of streets away from me and that's where I typically buy our beer and wine. The people who work there are really nice to me and we tend to chit chat for a bit when I am in there. I had just been to Randall's a couple of days before buying some wine and made some comment to the girl who was checking me out about the frequency of my wine purchasing habits (I'm there a couple times a week) and she said something like, "You're just buying wine. It's not like you're drinking a bottle of the hard stuff every day." So who should I see at the grocery store when I have a bottle of 94 proof booze in my cart and not much else? My girl from Randall's. So I hid from her. That's totally normal and healthy.

Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Drunken Blueberries
1/2 to 1/3 of a loaf of cinnamon brioche cut into cubes (a few days old)
4 eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dried blueberries
Sailor Jerry spiced rum for soaking (a half cup of so)
butter for pan

Sailor Jerry Rum Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
4 tablespoons Sailor Jerry spiced rum

I call them drunken blueberries because I give them a little bath in some Sailor Jerry. After they've been soaking for about 20 minutes, I begin to assemble the pudding.

Whisk four eggs together.

Add half and half, sugar and vanilla.

Add the cubed cinnamon brioche. (I actually cut the cubes earlier in the day to give them a chance to dry out even further.)

Then add the drained, soaked blueberries. Mix by folding gently. Place in buttered pie dish.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for an hour. The bread pudding will rise in the oven and then deflate as it cools.

Make the sauce while the bread pudding cools by melting the butter, then adding the sugar and the cornstarch and whisking until incorporated. Add half and half and cook until it boils. Add rum and boil for another 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the alcohol taste burns off. Don't stand over this while it's cooking. The smell of the alcohol is strong in this one.

Spoon out a little slab of pudding and drizzle with sauce.

The Captain describes the taste as "Sailor Jerry berry". That about sums it up.

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