Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hot Cross Bun Bread Pudding (using day-old hot cross buns)...

"Hot Cross Buns are a real food?  It's not just a song?"

I heard this several times at a party with friends on Sunday, and I couldn't help but laugh.  I think just about every kid who owned a recorder learned how to play Hot Cross Buns.  It also made me realize that as much as hot cross buns are considered an Easter tradition, not a lot of people actually make them.  My family never did, so I've decided to start the tradition myself.

I really loved the buns, especially straight from the oven when they were soft and piping hot, sticky with the orange marmalade I brushed over the top - for my previous post with a recipe for the buns, click here.

After making the hot cross buns, I knew we were going to have leftovers, since there was so much delicious ham and other things to eat.  And as homemade yeast bread without preservatives tends to do, I knew these would be getting stale as soon as the next day.  Stale bread is perfect for re-purposing in dishes like strata and bread pudding.  With the raisins and sweet spices already in the bread, I tossed the buns with an egg and milk custard to make bread pudding for breakfast.

To drizzle over the bread pudding, I made a sauce of orange juice, honey, vanilla and nutmeg, simmered and reduced until syrupy.  Orange slices added a nice freshness.  The flavors were reminiscent of the dinner we'd eaten the day before, the kind of dinner where you can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch.

This post is coming a little late, as I've been visiting my sister and her family this week, and having so much fun with my nieces.  I'm missing Colorado, though, especially Jamie, and can't wait to see him waiting for me at the airport tomorrow...

Hot Cross Bun Bread Pudding
printable recipe

  • 4 day-old hot cross buns, cut into cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 2 whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray 4 ramekins or oven-safe bowls with non-stick spray.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolks, milk, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla and brown sugar.  Pour mixture over the bread and toss with a spatula.  Let sit for a few minutes until the bread absorbs the liquid.  Divide mixture between the ramekins.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the all the ingredients for the sauce.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the bread pudding before serving.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen