Warming The Heart, Stomach and Soul

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

The only way the fancy people who lived upstairs in grand Victorian houses ate this, was if they ate it as children or if they begged some from the kitchen. It’s Victorian/Edwardian everyday food for the common family. It was thrifty and filled (and warmed) the tummy. Mrs. Beeton, in her book on household management, had at least three recipes for bread pudding so you know it was commonly made in households of that era. This recipe is my take on bread pudding, with a touch of New Orleans, and a touch of Pennsylvania Dutch.

We’ve been in the grip of the polar vortex here. Temperatures in the New York City area has been below zero Fahrenheit, and as low as -20 windchill. So what do New Yorkers do when the weather gets bone chilling cold? They cook. Or at least this New Yorker does. A good soul satisfying dessert is bread pudding. This stuff will really stick to your ribs, your thighs, and  your butt. Oh yeah, let’s talk about carbohydrates and fat up the Ying Yang, but once in a while, say, once every couple years, it warms the soul and takes you back to another time.

Bread Pudding


Preheat the oven to 350°


1/2 cup of raisins

3/4 cup melted butter (and you really should use butter)

1 cup milk

1 cup evaporated milk (this will give the creaminess)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar. (You will add this to the remaining butter)

one shot glass of whiskey or bourbon(this is optional to give it to your kids)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Four cups dry bread


Brush an oblong pan, say, a 9 inch X 12 inch, with butter, reserve what is left.

In a large bowl stir the milk, brown sugar, the extract and salt together until the brown sugar dissolves. Add the raisins. Add the bread and stir well. Let the mixture sit for at least 15 min. Don’t worry if the entire batch turns into one gooey mass. Now pour the bread mixture into the buttered pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 min. or until a knife inserted into it will be clean when it is removed from pudding.


Well this makes, but the remaining butter and brown sugar (and whiskey if you’re using it) into a pan. Heat on low to melt the butter and sugar together. Once this is done , set aside. You can either pour this over the finished pudding as a glaze or use as a sauce.

When this is finished, serve warm, or chill and serve cold. It’s good either way.






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