Summer is finally here!! Which makes me happy for two very specific reasons. One, because Summer is by far my favorite season. I love the long, hot, sunny days and the hiking and the camping and the being able to run in shorts and a tank top……it really doesn’t get much better than Summer. The other reason I’m so happy is because it means the Farmer’s Market is starting soon and by soon, I mean in five days. It’s crazy to think that it’s finally here and I can FINALLY start selling everything I’ve been working so hard on for the past four months.
As you can imagine, the past couple weeks have been a wee bit busy for me with finalizing details and some super last minute recipe testing. There are still a few things that need to be ironed out, but for the most part everything is pretty much done. Now comes the baking, and selling, and getting word out about The Earnest Baker……so I guess this is kind of just the beginning in a weird sort of way. On that note, this week’s post is going to be short and sweet (like I mentioned before, only five more days until I’m officially open). Since Summer is here and I’ve been eating an insane amount of berries lately, I wanted to share my favorite summertime dessert with you guys – Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding.
Now you might think bread pudding doesn’t exactly sound like a typical summer dessert, but this Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding is the perfect summertime treat. It takes advantage of all the gorgeous, fresh berries that are finally in season and really highlights and enhances the flavor of the fruit. The soft, rich Challah and the lightly sweetened custard base are a wonderful balance to the tartness of the berries. This dessert is a staple in my house during the summer and I hope it will become one in your house as well. Sometimes I even eat the bread pudding for breakfast…….I mean it has bread and fruit sooooo that’s kind of breakfastey….right??
Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding
Makes about 9 servings
Recipe adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
1 pound Challah loaf (preferably a couple days old), cut into roughly 1 inch cubes
2 generous cups of fresh berries (a mix of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry is my favorite, but a full 2 cups of cherries is delicious as well)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a pastry brush, brush a deep 8 x 8 inch pan with butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Turbinado sugar into the bottom and sides of the pan.
In a very large bowl, gently toss the Challah and berries together. You want to do this carefully, so you don’t squish the berries!
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and salt. Set bowl aside.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk, sugar, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is just barely simmering.
Remove pan from heat and, while whisking, pour about one quarter of the cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well. This step tempers the eggs and helps prevent them from scrambling when you add the hot cream.
Pour the tempered egg mixture back into saucepan with the remaining cream and whisk well.
Pour the egg and cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve directly into the bowl with the Challah and berries (this ensures you’ll have a smooth custard). Gently stir to coat the Challah with the egg and cream mixture. Set bowl aside and let sit for about 30 minutes, gently stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Pour the soaked Challah into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of Turbinado sugar on top. Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the custard is set and the tops of the Challah look crisp.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm with a big dollop of unsweetened freshly whipped cream or you can go with my favorite way to serve it – a little bit of heavy cream poured directly on top of the bread pudding (so good). The bread pudding is also delicious cold, straight from the fridge for breakfast………or lunch………or dinner.