Studded with fresh cranberries this delicious dessert can (and should) be made several hours ahead. Bake while dinner is on the table. Drizzle with a subtly spiced homemade butter rum sauce and there are no leftovers.
But we begin as we often do with a remnant, leftovers forgotten on the middle shelf of the fridge. A quarter loaf of pound cake, stale and unwanted, tucked behind the pickled green tomatoes. A remnant and an unusually frosty November day, a day where butter seems mandatory and the aura of warmth from the oven is welcome.
I should pass along the recipe for the pound cake- grapefruit and cardamom- but even with the glaze it wasn’t quite how I imagined. This recipe from food52 is probably much better- especially if not baked above a pizza stone so the bottom is still liquid after 40 minutes which you only discover when you try to remove the pound cake from the pan and it slops a little so you have to throw it back in the oven (this time without the pizza stone in there) and bake it for another 25 minutes. Yes especially then.
This is a dessert easier than the flavors suggest. It’s humble, as any dish made from stale bread must be, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it won’t get rave reviews from guests.
You could use any sort of pound cake but the hints of citrus play nicely with the custard. You could also quite easily double or triple this recipe and serve it for a crowd (Holiday dinner?).
- 4 6 ounce ramekins-well buttered
- For The Pudding
- 5 ½ ounces leftover and just too stale to eat pound cake cut into approximately ¾ inch squares
- 2 large eggs
- 2 T white sugar
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
- For the Rum Sauce
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit or orange juice
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- about 8 whole fresh cranberries
- 2 T butter
- 1/3 cup dark or golden rum
For The Pudding
Divide pound cake between the ramekins and then top with chopped cranberries.
Whisk together eggs and sugar. Add milk, vanilla, and salt and continue to whisk until thoroughly combined and perhaps even a bit frothy.
Pour the batter evenly over the bread cubes, pressing down the cubes if necessary to submerge in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but up to twelve. Longer, in this case, is better.
Bake in a hot water bath at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool for about ten minutes before serving.
For the Rum Sauce
Combine juice, sugar, and whole cranberries in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the butter and return to a low boil for another 2-3 minutes. Add the rum and then simmer on low (swirling to stir) until sauce has reduced by about a quarter, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Drizzle (or pour if that’s more your thing) the warm, but not hot, sauce over the bread pudding just before serving.
This will probably be way more sauce than you need so if you decide to double the bread pudding recipe you do not need to double the sauce as well.