I love bread pudding… It’s as comforting as a mother’s love — at least for me!!! This Coimbra-style bread pudding is a smooth, flan-like Portuguese version of my Mom’s bread pudding.
Since I have already shared her masterpiece with you a few months ago, I decided to make the Portuguese version of her pudding… Now I can also say that bread pudding is as comforting as my Portuguese-descendant grandmother’s love as well!
This Coimbra-style bread pudding differs slightly from my mother’s in that it incorporates raisins, Port wine, lemon zest, and cinnamon — and I am serving it with a Port wine sauce instead of a caramel sauce.
Are you drooling yet? I am!!! Moreover, instead of being baked in dry heat, this Portuguese version is cooked in a bain-marie. I am telling you, don’t miss the opportunity of making either one — or better yet, both!!
Bread pudding is what I have been craving lately…Why? Well, I don’t know if I have already mentioned to you… The pressure is on! My head is spinning, the nights are shorter, my to-do list has grown… I feel like a juggler with several different balls in my hands: my upcoming Brazilian cooking class, many things that I want to share with you here on this blog, a possible work-trip to Brazil, my domestic and family duties, a cooking manuscript, etc. I have to accomplish them all… and I will, or I won’t be able to forgive myself.
So when I am in this kind of situation, talking with God and also eating certain foods bring me comfort and help me to cope much better with the whole situation. Lately it has been this Coimbra-style bread pudding…
How about yourself? What do you do/eat when you feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders? If you’re looking for something new, grab a ring mold baking pan, collect all the ingredients, and make bread pudding. Mmmm! It will be as comforting and unforgettable as both a mother and a grandmother’s love put together… Trust me!
- For the bread pudding:
- 9 oz or 250g stale french bread (or baguette), chopped
- 3 cups warm milk (for a dairy-free version use either rice or coconut milk)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon tawny port wine, or any sweet red wine
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup raisins
- Unsalted butter or no stick cooking spray to grease the baking pan
- Port Sauce
- For the Port wine sauce:
- 1 cup tawny Port
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C). Grease bottom and sides of the ring mold baking pan.
- In a large bowl, soak the stale bread in the warm milk until bread is softened and the milk is almost cool. In a blender, blend the mixture of bread and milk, the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and wine. Then, stir in the lemon zest and raisins.
- Pour the blended bread mixture into the pan. Place ring mold pan in a larger, rectangular baking pan, and fill with boiling water to come halfway up the side of the ring mold pan (Bain-Marie). Bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean.
- Let pudding cool down on a rack. When it is slightly warm, run a small metallic icing spatula or knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the pudding. Invert onto a serving plate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with the port sauce on top.
- To prepare the Port wine sauce: In a heavy small saucepan, stir Port, lemon juice, and sugar over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until mixture is reduced to ½ cup, about 10-15 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch well in a small bowl. Whisk into Port mixture and boil until slightly thickened, stirring constantly for approximately 2 minutes. Let cool and pour over the Coimbra-style bread pudding.
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