Spice It! New Orleans Bread Pudding

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This recipe is courtesy of Cardie Mortimer, Verona resident and chef. As Cardie and I were writing to each other about cinnamon and how much we both love it, he sent me this recipe which uses blueberry wine from his brother’s winery in Sussex County.

Mortimer says, “here is a dish I designed several years ago which also incorporates cinnamon. My brother owns one of the best wineries on the East Coast. It’s called Westfall Winery and it’s located in Montague, NJ (right near High Point)…It’s only an hour or so away from Verona. The Cardie Cooks team is working on a cookbook of recipes using Westfall’s incredibly tasty fruit wines. We hope to have a finished book by sometime early next spring.”

A cookbook of recipes featuring local wines and a local chef? I’m in! Here is Cardie’s recipe- Enjoy!

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New Orleans Bread Pudding with Westfall Blueberry Wine, Fruit & Cinnamon

Bread Pudding Ingredients:

10 cups day old French bread or day old croissants, torn into one inch pieces (Mortimer’s personal favorite is a combination of croissants and baguette)

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups half and half or whole milk

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5 large eggs

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

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1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 heaping tablespoons good cinnamon (I prefer brand called Saigon)

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 cups Westfall Blueberry Wine

1 cup dried cherries (pitted) or frozen cherries (drained)

1 package dried cranberries

1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries (drained)

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (drained)

mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon of water

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons butter

What’s Next:

  1. In separate bowl, beat eggs, and mix in heavy cream , half & half (or milk), brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and the vanilla extract. Mix well to incorporate.
  2. Place bread cubes in a the bowl and stir using your hands to make sure all of the bread is moistened and covered. Cover the bowl, place in refrigerator, and let soak in egg and milk mixture for an hour.
  3. In another bowl, soak all the fruit, dried and fresh, in the Blueberry wine for an hour.
  4. Drain fruit but preserve the wine. (The easiest way to do this is to remove the berries with a slotted spoon and place in a separate bowl)
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Spray a large casserole dish or baking pan with non-stick spray.  Layer bread and drained fruit starting with bread on the bottom, and ending with bread on the top. Any leftover fruit can be sprinkled across the top, and pushed down with a wooden spoon.
  7. Drizzle several tablespoons of the reserved Blueberry wine across the top.
  8. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.

Make the Caramel Sauce:

  1. Melt the sugar in teaspoon of water stirring constantly until amber colored.
  2. Take off heat and whisk in butter and then the heavy cream.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Drizzle the caramel sauce on the top of the pudding, and serve warm or at room temperature.

This is best served with a good brand of vanilla bean ice cream.

Leftover pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

**Westfall Winery is owned by Loren Mortimer and his wife and partner Georgene. Customers can purchase the Stella Blueberry wine at various liquor stores around the state. Those retail outlets listed on his web site, Westfallwinery.com.

This series was inspired by the gift of a large amount of cinnamon my mother-in-law brought me from Ecuador. It includes recipes from Verona chefs and chefs with Verona connections. You can follow this series and all of my cooking adventures on Twitter: @TracyCooksIt

 

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