About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Glazed Semolina Pudding | Main | Sbricciolona-Ferrara’s Crumbly Cake »

Glazed Bread Pudding

We've been playing with vegetables and other healthy stuff since before Christmas! It is fitting that we move on to sweet things next.

I was curious to see what this chapter would bring. When you think of Italian food I imagine that for most people desserts don't come into the picture. Pizza, pasta, cheese, grilled meats, veggies, salads, fish . . . yes! Cakes, tarts, cookies . . . not for most of us.

In fact, I conducted a wee survey today at work (because apparenlty I was bored) and asked 10 colleagues to name an Italian dessert. No one could name one. Then I asked one of our admin assistants who is of Italian descent - she at least came up with cannoli, gelato, Tiramisu, Semifreddo, panna cotta, and zuppa englese.

My first foray into the world of Marcella's desserts was a glazed bread pudding. I admit to feeling let down. Bread pudding? This seemed neither Italian nor all that interesting for that matter. Bread pudding has a bad name in my family - my mom calls it 'depression food' - for the era, not the state of mind she falls into when she sees it in front of her.

Bread pudding, regardless of attempts to 'trendify' itself over the years is a humble thing. No doubt the original recipes for it were vehicles to use up the last scraps of stale bread. Marcella's recipe seems to harken back to that time when cooks had to make use of every bit of food - nothing being wasted.

I've made a number of bread puddings over the years but absolutely none were made like this one - here the bread is soaked in warm milk until it becomes a sodden mass.

Paul walked as I was embarked on the next step in the recipe and suggested that the contents of the bowl looked like the contents of one's stomach after having eaten. SIGH

The mushed up bread DID have the appearance of bread that had been well chewed by a baby!

To this mixture you add soaked raisins, sugar, pine nuts, and egg yolks. The final step is to beat egg whites and fold them in. This admittedly unappetizing looking mixture is poured into a pan coated with caramelized sugar. 75 minutes later the pudding comes out of the oven.

Once out of the oven you pierce it with a fork and pour rum over top.

The final step is to unmould it onto a pan. This is when disaster struck - the pudding did NOT wish to leave its pan. In fact, it broke into pieces. After having checked to see if anyone witnessed my crisis, I stuck the pieces back together and covered the whole thing and placed it in the refrigerator (Marcella advises that it is best the next day).

I served it up the following day.

The verdict?

You guessed it - this was bloody amazing! Proof, yet again, that simple dishes without excessive sauces, spices, and flavourings, can impress. I even tried it out on mom - who immediately wore an expression that looked as if she were sucking on a lemon when I asked her if she wanted some bread pudding - when I wasn't looking she snuck a HUGE portion into a container and snuck it home.

That, boys and girls, was likely the highest praise that there could be.

Comments (1)

Marcella Hazan:

Jerry, I missed seeing this, last week. Sorry, I didn't mean to pass it up without comment. I am very glad that, notwithstanding Paul's discouraging preamble, the recipe worked for you. My mother. from whom I learned it, would have been glad too. This was one of the few desserts she ever made.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2011 6:53 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Glazed Semolina Pudding.

The next post in this blog is Sbricciolona-Ferrara’s Crumbly Cake.

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