From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This humble pudding comes from the kitchens of the Biltmore, a lavish estate built during the Gilded Age, for the family of George Vanderbilt. The Gilded Age was a period during which the wealth of the robber barons grew astronomically, while immigrants, who made the expansion of their wealth possible, were mired in poverty. Mark Twain named the period in a satire exposing social problems he believed were disguised by the thin gold gilding of philanthropy. While I know the pudding is currently served at the Biltmore, I can't help but wonder if anything this homely was actually prepared for the Vanderbilts while they were in residence. It would be a shame if they missed it. This rich version is exceptionally good, and if you enjoy bread pudding I think you will love the Biltmore pudding. It is simple to make, and while it can be made with brioche, I usually use stale bread that I have lying around the kitchen. I like pudding with texture, so I leave the crusts on my bread cubes, but if you want a moister concoction, they can of course be removed. Eggs and butter and cream are used with abandon, so this definitely is not a dish for weight watchers or those with peckish appetites. It is a nearly foolproof dessert, and as long as you make sure the pudding is done, you can't go wrong. More importantly, you won't be sorry you gave it a try. Here is how this super-good pudding is made.
Biltmore Bread Pudding...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home
12 ounces (about 8 cups) cubed day-old bread
2-1/4 cups whole milk
1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
2) Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish. Whisk eggs, milk, cream, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour evenly over bread. Let sit for 10 minutes.
3) Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
4) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring sugar, water and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns a golden amber color. Stir in butter until melted. Add cream. Remove from the heat. Serve warm bread pudding drizzled with caramel sauce. Yield: 12 servings.
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