Strawberry Jam Bread Pudding

Here’s what I’ve learned during my brioche a tete saga:  1)  I can actually make a cooking plan and stick to it when a party or special occasion isn’t involved; 2)  I can make it completely through the second step; and 3) by the time the third step rolls around, the brioche is still in the fridge, wrapped sloppily in plastic, and waiting for, well, step three.

That would be now.

Did you know this brioche recipe can actually hold up after several days, and still manage to make it into a recipe?  Actually, it all worked out well, because I’d been wanting a bread pudding, and since I am sort of a traditionalist (winter comfort food, cinnamon, raisins…) when it comes to that particular type of comfort food, the idea of making one in the summer with fruit was quite novel.

I know.  I’m the ONLY one.

Others have already thought of interesting ways to add fruit to bread pudding, like peaches and raspberries, or lemon and blueberries, and yes, even fruit cocktail.  Like I said.  Interesting.

But I wanted something very simple with ingredients I had in the fridge.

When I set out, I actually thought I’d use fresh fruit, but search engines being what they are led me to consider something entirely different.  After all, I usually have any number of jam or preserves jars in the fridge in various stages of being emptied.  My 16-year-old doesn’t quite understand how to empty one completely.

For about three seconds, I considered making some quick microwave jam from the frozen strawberries I had in the freezer, but the jars cluttering my fridge won.  Besides, I love Bonne Maman preserves.

Bobby Flay’s recipe for Jam and Bread Pudding was perfect for my three-day-old brioche.  Well, almost.

I didn’t have quite enough of it with only 3/4 of one brioche a tete left.  But, I forged on ahead.  And do you think I’d half the ingredients? Nope.  I thought of it, but really wasn’t sure about the difference in quantity between a “loaf” of brioche and a “tete.”

Ounces listed in the recipe would really help, Bobby, I mean, come on, dude.


So I mixed the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla together, layered the strawberry preserves and the brioche, and started to pour.  The dry brioche really did a good job of soaking up the liquid, and I pressed on the surface, just like Bobby instructed to hope that the brioche would soak up even more, but there was no way.

I eyeballed the remaining cup of liquid and knew I wouldn’t be able to use it all.  I thought about grabbing the loaf of Gold Medal 12-Grain sitting on the counter, but realized I’d have to smear on some more preserves as well, and decided to leave well enough alone.

My dog loved the left over milky-eggy liquid.  She loved it a lot.


As for the strawberry jam bread pudding?  A good idea for old brioche, clearly, but it was too sweet for me.  Its texture was very moist (um…really?) but if I’d had the right amount of brioche and had used all the liquid, it still would have been as moist, so I’m still wondering.  And, it reminded me more of a coffee cake than a bread pudding.  I like the custardy aspect of a good bread pudding, and “moist” doesn’t necessarily mean custardy.

As far as serving this hot goes?  I’d wait.  It’s very moist even after letting it bake until golden brown on the top.  It thickens as it cools, and is then fairly easy to remove from the pan, and slice into wedges.

Although Bobby recommended powdered sugar over this, I couldn’t imagine more sweetness and was glad to have drizzled unsweetened whipped cream over ours.

So the moral to this story is, this a quick and easy recipe for any kind of firm, stale bread you may have, especially if you need a dessert in a crunch.  But if you choose to use an 8″ cake pan with a removable bottom like I did, perhaps you’ll be less absent-minded than I was when I neglected to wrap the bottom in foil.  Thank goodness I set it in a pie pan?

Um, yes.  My oven thanks me.