The idea of turning something old into something new is not a concept resigned only to cans, bottles, newspapers and old tires. It also applies to food, except I like to consider that as the Art of Recreation. Who hasn't taken that last piece of grilled chicken and diced it up for chicken salad or used the leftover rice side dish from yesterday's dinner and turned it into a delicious stir fry entree for tomorrow's meal?

My freezer seems to be the catch-all place for food that needs to be recreated and only when I clear out some space can I indulge in buying more new goodies. Recent inventory figures showed it was time to recycle some bread (you know, those last few slices of bread that never get eaten and invariably lay on the counter until they're hard as a rock), so the stale slices were reborn as Bread Pudding with Port Wine Soaked Cranberries and Blueberries inspired by an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Perfect for a weekend brunch or served as a dessert...Enjoy!

Bread Pudding with Port Wine Soaked Cranberries and Blueberries
inspired by Emeril Lagasse

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups Berry Compote (see recipe below)
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted and rough chopped
2 cups milk
8 slices day-old bread (white or sourdough or combination of both), crusts removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
Fresh whipped cream, for serving

Berry Compote:
1/4 pound fresh cranberries
1/4 pound fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups Port wine
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with butter.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and berry compote until very smooth. Stir in milk, bread and pecans. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the pudding is set in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

To serve, cut the pudding into squares and top with fresh whipped cream.

For the Berry Compote:

Put the cranberries, orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and Port wine in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1/2 cup of water and add to the pan along with the blueberries. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Yield: 2 cups


Karine said...

Your bread pudding sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

Terri said...

Bread pudding with fresh berries!! Mmmmmm!


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