I grew up on bread pudding. My mother would make a vanilla spice version and a dark chocolate version. And then she'd make "butter balls".... A butter ball is simply one part butter to three parts sugar.... You soften the butter, add in the sugar, mix with fork until the butter is evenly distributed. And then you form it into little balls and use these to plop into your piece of steaming hot bread pudding.
Like I mentioned to Belle yesterday, I throw old pieces of bread into a gallon ziplock bag and freeze them to use for stuffing. Bread pudding. Bread crumbs. It's easy and costs nothing, right? For stuffing and bread pudding I like firmer bread. If it's soft bread, I lay it out on the counter to dry overnight. Toughen it up a little, so it doesn't get so soggy.
So here's Ruthy's Maple Bread Pudding: (very much like a baked French Toast)
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Maple syrup or Maple cream (yes, the real thing! Oy!)
Add in milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Whisk until the ingredients are well blended.
Now the fun part! Press a lot of broken bread:
Push bread into custard mix until it's really stuffed. The more bread, the firmer the final "pudding".
Add the second half over the first and do the same. I used maple cream in this one, but it's pricey... I buy it for the little ones. They love it on bagels... Amazing stuff! But maple syrup works just as well!
Bake at 325 degrees until firm and golden. I steam bake it in a 13 x 9 pan of water. That keeps the edges from getting browned and keeps the "pudding" moist but allows it to cook. Okay, I'm going to show you this next pic BUT DO NOT LOOK AT MY OVEN!!! WOULDN'T YOU THINK ANYONE WITH A SELF-CLEANING OVEN WOULD JUST DO IT ONCE IN A WHILE????
Note the "Spice of Life" Corning Ware that I got for a shower gift decades ago. Isn't it pretty? I still love it today, although it's the only one of that design I have left... But I love it!
And here is the finished product about 45 minutes later!
You can also make this more sliceable by baking in a 13 x 9 inch pan, but then you need to have a larger oven pan for the water and not everyone has nice big flat pans. All you have to do is adjust the cooking time.
I love old-fashioned desserts....
But I love new-fashioned ones just as well, LOL!