Dukes is a retired home economist who lives in Bartow, Ga. She makes this bread pudding often for her husband. She says that making bread pudding is a great way to use not only leftover bread but also croissants, dinner rolls, cake crumbs and Danish pastries.
Her recipe starts with a custard that includes four eggs, which should be at room temperature. The eggs are combined with sugar and simmering milk. You know your milk is simmering when tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.
To avoid scrambling the eggs, you’ll want to take a little of the hot milk and whisk it into the eggs to temper the mixture. Then, slowly drizzle in the remaining hot milk, whisking constantly.
Dukes’ bread pudding is very custardy. If you prefer a firmer version with more bread, use six cups of bread cubes instead of the four called for in the recipe.
Serve the bread pudding hot, warm or even cold. Dukes serves her bread pudding with a luscious lemon sauce, and she gives the recipe for the sauce, too.
SARA DUKES’ ‘BEST’ BREAD PUDDING
4 cups bread (with crusts) cut into ½-1-inch, lightly packed
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup raisins, optional
4 cups milk
Lemon sauce (below), optional, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish or casserole with butter and set aside.
Beat eggs in large bowl. Add sugars, vanilla and cinnamon.
Heat milk to almost boiling and gradually add to egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Fold in bread cubes, mixing well. Spread mixture in prepared casserole and bake for 40 minutes or until set. Serve warm with warm lemon sauce, if desired, or serve with ice cream or drizzle with sweetened condensed milk.
Makes about 8 servings.
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon butter
Combine egg, sugar, zest and juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. When thick, whisk in the butter.
Makes 1½ cups of sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.