Bread pudding has crust, but also a very soft heart


January 24, 2001|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Debra Barnett of Baltimore requested a "basic older recipe for bread pudding which my aunt used to make using bread, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, milk or cream and eggs. It was more like a custard and very delicious."

Her response came from Kim Crawford of Elkridge, who sent in a recipe from "my 1956 `Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook.' "

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

Serves 6

3 cups soft bread crumbs

2 cups milk, scalded, with 1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg

1/2 cup seedless raisins

Place bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Add scalded milk, sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon and raisins and stir. Pour into greased baking dish. Place baking dish in a pan of hot water (1-inch deep). Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Serve warm with hard sauce or cream.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "When scalding the milk (use whole milk preferably), add a quarter of a split vanilla bean to add extra flavor to final pudding. I chose to add 1/2 teaspoon each of freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon for balance.

"It is indeed a comforting, old-timey bread pudding in which the insides are soft and plush and the top makes a slightly crunchy, browned crust. It also works well made in individual custard cups (continue to use the water bath). Although it calls for bread crumbs, it is more interesting texturally if you cut the bread into small bread cubes instead, using crust edges as well."

Recipe requests

Gil Collins of Baltimore remembers a seafood dip that was served some 18 years ago at a Christmas party. It included tomato soup, small cans of crab and shrimp, gelatin "and numerous other ingredients. Everything was put in a fluted bowl and refrigerated. It was delicious."

Carol Ann Cohen of Laurel would like to have a recipe similar to the one called "Empress Shrimp, which is served at Ming's Chinese Restaurant in the Timonium Shopping Center."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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