The Ladies' Tea Guild

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Raspberry Bread Pudding and a Viennese Tea!

Raspberry Jam Bread Pudding.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
I've had these croissants taking up space in my freezer for a few months, and with all the fruit I've been bringing home from the farmers' market -- for making jam and freezing for next year -- I needed to get the croissants out.  Then they sat in my fridge for a month; they were wrapped in plastic, but still ...  Then, I got a bunch of raspberries at the farmers' market, intending to make jam with them, but a week went by and they were still there, looking at me sadly every time I opened the fridge!  After spending a lot of time looking through recipes for the perfect ones to use, I finally got the croissants and raspberries out the other day and did something with them!

Originally I was going to make bread pudding with the croissants -- I had been looking for a Victorian recipe (that I never did find) that called for grating the bread before adding the custard -- and jam with the raspberries, but as I was mixing the custard for the pudding, with the jam simmering in a saucepan nearby, I got a brain flash: why not put some of the jam *in* the bread pudding, and have a sort-of-raspberry-cream bread pudding?  I checked the fridge: no cream, but I did have some half-and-half.  Maybe white chocolate chips instead?  Checked the pantry: no white chocolate.  So, it will just be raspberry, or maybe Raspberry Jam-and-Bread Pudding ...

Here's the recipe I used:

Raspberry Jam-and-Bread Pudding

4 cups grated stale croissants (or other rich bread)
3 cups sugar (don't worry; it's not all going in the pudding!)
2 cups fresh raspberries (approximately)
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup 2% milk
1 tsp. vanilla
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with baking spray, or grease it with butter.  In a 2-quart saucepan, cook the raspberries on medium heat until they break down, mashing them with a wooden spoon, and let them boil for 15 minutes.  Stir in 2 cups of sugar, and bring to the boil again, stirring, for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the berries thicken.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Pour the grated croissants into a large bowl.  Beat the eggs in a separate large bowl and combine with the remaining 1 cup of sugar, the milk and half-and-half, vanilla and salt, beating well.  Add about 1/2 cup (or more, if you like) of the raspberry jam to the mixture and blend well, until uniformly reddish.  Pour over the croissant crumbs and stir to combine.  Let the mixture sit a few minutes for the bread to soak up the custard.  Reserve the remaining raspberry jam for later.

Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, and the center is set.  Let cool and serve with cream or ice cream, and the rest of the raspberry jam!


Hoffburg Palace, Vienna. Image:
Next on the calendar is the October meeting of the South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild!  We last saw each other in July when we walked in the Rose, White & Blue Parade, and we had to skip our August and September meetings because of too many other things on the calendar.  But for October, one of our members, who once lived in Austria, has offered to host and help put together a Viennese Tea!  This will also be a sewing circle, so bring any unfinished sewing (or other craft project that can be done indoors), and work on it while talking, drinking tea, and eating Viennese pastries!  Our hostess has promised to provide a really good Sachertorte ...

Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1 p.m.
Location: a private home in San Jose's Rose Garden neighborhood.
Cost: $20 (Ladies' Tea Guild members) / $25 (non-members)
Suggested costume: modern dress

As with all our meetings, please R.S.V.P. and send food fees at least 48 hours before the event, so I can make and/or purchase the pastries ...


Bernideen said...

I had you in my favoritesbefore but early this year 3 of us had our blogs pirated and I ended up going to a new address at When the young man changed the address, I lost all my favorites and my mind didn't remember them all but seeing you today on Facebook reminded me to put you back!

Steph said...

Your recipe sounds delicious!

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Glad to be back in your favorites, Bernideen!

Steph, it really is a yummy bread pudding. I hope you get a chance to try it!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)