Bread Pudding is an old fashioned dessert which is made in many countries which had an English influence. Cyprus was a British colony for many years so this dessert was known in Cyprus as well.
Puddings were originally made from stale leftover bread that was simply moistened in water, to which a little sugar, spices and other ingredients were added and turned into a dessert for poor people. Later on other ingredients such as biscuits were used to make puddings.
Persimmon Bread Pudding
While preparing the post, I remembered that I had another bread pudding made with persimmons, which I had made back in 2009 and not posted mainly because I did not have a decent photo to post (you can see how bad the pictures are ). I was waiting to make the pudding again and take better pictures but since I don’t know when that will be, so here it is:
Makes: 2 cups
5 ripe persimmons, peeled
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tbsp Tentoura (cinnamon liqueur or other liqueur)
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp nutmeg
In a non stick frying pan add the fruit, sugar, liqueur and spices. Mix for five minutes until the fruit caramelises. Remove the spices before using.
You can serve it on top of desserts of make it into a puree and use it in other recipes.
It may be stored in the refrigerator for a few days before using.
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons water
In a non-stick frying pan add the sugar and water and keep stirring with a wooden spatula until it starts bubbling and it caramelises, about 3 minutes.
Pour into a souffle baking dish. Immediately and add water to the frying pan so that caramel will not petrify.
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
5 cups cubed soft white bread (without the core)
1 cup persimmon purée
In a bowl whisk the eggs for a few minutes. Add milk and persimmon puree and mix.
Remove the core from the bread and cut into small cubes. Add it to the mixture and leave it for 15 minutes to soak.
Put in a souffle dish where the caramel was previously poured and cover with aluminium foil.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and bake in over a water bath for about 1 hour covered.
Remove aluminium foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve warm although it can be served cold as well.
How can something so simple be so good?
As I have been making puddings for years, I knew exactly what to do with my leftover stale tsoureki. Apart from the filled tsourekia, I did make a classic type as well but that was scorned and left the last to eat. However, that sweet rich butter bread, with roasted almonds on top, which by itself is very aromatic from the mastic and mahleb became stale after ten days from the day I made them. What did I need to make the pudding? Just a few ingredients were necessary : milk to soak the bread, honey to add a little sweetness as the bread itself is not sweet at all and eggs for binding. I did not add too much honey as I wanted to serve it with one of my favourite spoon sweets «karydaki» which is fresh walnut made into a fruit preserve, with some of its delicious syrup on top.
In case you want to serve it plain just sprinkle some icing sugar and cinnamon on top and you have heaven in your plate!
Tsoureki Pudding, recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
580 ml milk
60 grams honey
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
Cut tsoureki into small pieces into a 18 x 25 cm (7 x 10 inch) baking dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and honey. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered.
Let is rest for 30 minutes to soak up the egg mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,