Bread Renewed: Dried Cherry Bread Pudding

The versatility of day-old bread is ibread puddingts saving grace. It’s not uncommon to see our food processor whirling bread into crumbs to later go in meatballs. Just as often we will cut it up into little cubes and bake into croutons. Another creative use of the bread that we have is to turn it into a tasty dessert. Our dried cherry bread pudding is a different take on a classic, comfort-style dessert that is sure to warm you up. This is a recipe that has become uniquely HIP’s over time and has become a re-occurring recipe in our Senior Meals menus. Spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg offer a fall-inspired twist and warming quality to the dessert. Next time you’re craving something different or have excess bread on your hands, give this recipe a try! You can even substitute the dried cherries for another fruit of your choice. In the past we’ve created versions using blueberries, plums, and cranberries.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:
16 oz bread, ripped or cut into 1” cubes
3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp (or less) clove
½ lb dried cherries
½ tbsp butter, melted
confectioners’ sugar for top

Directions:
1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.      Butter an 8 or 9” baking dish. Arrange half of the bread along the bottom of the dish and cut or tear the slices to fit.
3.      Whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, spices, and vanilla together and pour the mixture over the bread. Top with dried cherries. Press to soak and brush the top with the melted butter.
4.      Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 minutes or longer until the temperature is 165F. Remove from oven and let cool.

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