Bread pudding isn't really something I think a lot about in the summer. But say peach bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce and my ears perk up like Dumbo, even on a hot summer day. It doesn't get more seasonal than a juicy ripe fruit in summer. And shit have we had some incredible peaches and nectarines already this year, much to my surprise.
I had some brioche bread sitting around from lobster BLTs we had the other day - let me tell you, those were THE BOMB (here is the recipe, you're welcome). So I had quite a bit of brioche bread left over and since WE DON'T WASTE FOOD in this house, I immediately found use for it with this peach bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce.
I guess if I am being honest, the bourbon caramel sauce is the star here, who doesn't like drunk caramel? This recipe comes straight up no changes needed from my friends Mark and Angela at Cooking with Wine. It is amazing, and in fact, I recommend doubling the recipe and save some to top all the ice cream you can manage.
What is bread pudding?
To me, bread pudding is basically like a french toast casserole on drugs. More fancy, sweeter, more interesting flavors...like the prettier cousin to french toast. Chunks of bread folded into a custard base (eggs and cream) at its very basic, then you can add awesome things like...I don't know...peaches?!
Tell me more...
You can add chocolate, different spices or espresso to the custard, ANY kind of fruit, whatever you have on hand. I have a shit ton of peaches sitting on my counter so this was the perfect addition for a summer dessert. See here for a wonderful bread pudding I made at the holidays.
And while I used brioche this time, you can use any bread you have. Sourdough is incredible in a sweet dessert and gives a new layer of flavor.
One last thing.
So in this recipe I do not add sugar to the custard This particular recipe gets it's sweetness from the warm caramel sauce you pour INTO (that's right straight into) the hot-from-the-oven bread puddings. The sauce is hot and the puddings are hot, and you poke a little hole into the center of the pudding and pour some sauce (not measured, you be the judge) right in it. The warm pudding soaks up all the caramel sauce giving this the perfect balance. Added sugar into the custard base would make this way too sweet. Balance people. Alway balance.
If you are not using the sauce - add four tablespoons of white sugar to the egg and cream mixture. Adapt to what you have my friends, and this will be just as lovely. xo
Peach bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce
For the bread pudding
- Four ripe peaches diced
- ten slices of thick cut brioche bread torn into peices use whatever bread you have - if it is thin or a baguette use your bestjudgement on how much additional bread to use
- Four eggs
- Two cups of heavy cream
- Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
- One teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
Brown butter bourbon caramel sauce (see link to my friend's incredible recipe above)
- Preheat oven to 375. Butter up or grease up four ramekins or one baking pan. If using ramekins put them on a baking sheet ready for the oven.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the bread and toss to combine with a spatula. The bread should soak up all of that delicious custard base. GENTLY (or you'll smash them) fold in the peaches.
- Scoop the pudding into the ramekins - this is easiest to do, for me, with an ice cream scoop. A couple scoops in each one. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes (maybe a little longer). What you are looking for is browned on the top puddings that are puffed completely and bubbling around the edges. The center should feel firm (not squishy) when you touch the tops.
- Have your caramel sauce warmed and ready to go.
- Pull out the baking sheet and make a small divot / hole in the center of each pudding, and pour baby pour! Don't be skimpy with your sauce - this is where the sweetness comes in! Pour right into the pudding and a little around the top of each puttding as well. Let them sit and cool slightly before enjoying.