|Leona O'Connor Binns' Brandy Bread Pudding|
For his recipe I decided to go back to my Grandmother Binns. An extremely talented, friendly, and well rounded Irish woman. She was a tough bird let me tell you. She raised ten children, got a college education, worked as a teacher in the school, and still was able to put dinner on the table every night. I remember her fondly. Every Sunday after mass the entire family would arrive at her house for Sunday breakfast. She made it all. Eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, toast, grapefruit, coffee, etc.; it was all there. She not only fed just me and my siblings but all of the cousins. It was a spectacular event when any of the twenty three first cousins and family where in town. The kitchen was so full that tables had to be placed all throughout the living room and dining room just to hold all of us. Even the priest and nun were presented at times. Those were some great times. As an Irish woman she cooked a lot of the traditional foods of her culture. I have recreated a few of them on her before. When trying to come up with another I had to ask my father and aunt about some dishes I had never had before but that they remembered fondly. One in particular was her bread pudding. After compiling all the ingredients that she used I had the help of my chef at the restaurant I work at to provide me with a simple recipe for the bases of a good bread pudding. Grandma Binns' pudding had a combination of flavors in it. She used peaches, raisins, and some brandy to help create a wonderful array of flavors in your mouth. She even went as far as to create a meringue that she topped the whole thing. Leona O'Connor Binns' Brandy Bread Pudding.
- 3/4 a loaf of stale French bread
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tbs cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 1 15 oz can peaches drained
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut French bread into halves, then half again and cut into little square chunks and set in large bowl.
3. Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a bowl.
4. In a sauce pot scald cream over high heat.
5. Combine egg yolks and sugar mixture together in bowl and whisk until pale yellow.
6. Temper cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
7. Pour egg/cream mixture into bread bowl and combine and let sit to cool for 30 minutes.
8. Dice up into chunks the peaches and mix into bread custard bowl.
9. In another sauce pan pour raisins and brandy and simmer over medium high heat to cook off some of the alcohol and hydrate the raisins.
10. Drain raisins and combine into the bread mixture.
11. In a 9 x 13 greased glass pan pour bread mixture. Sit pan inside a larger glass pan and pour water in around the bread pudding pan to create a water bath around and bake covered with tinfoil for 45 minutes until the pudding has settled.
12. Meanwhile take the egg whites and mix with a hand mixer until stiff peaks have form. Combine the other 1/2 cup sugar to flavor the meringue.
13. Remove pudding from oven, pour the left over cooked brandy over the top of the pudding, spread with the meringue and place back in the oven uncovered and not inside the water bath to brown the meringue for about 15 minutes.
14. Let cool before serving.
This bread pudding was so light and crisp it was amazing how delicious it was. The flavors of the peaches, raisins, brandy, were all light and not overpowering that you can eat a couple pieces before feeling guilty for eating such a rich dessert. It definitely brought back memories to my aunt and father that they had not had in over 30 years.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Grandma Binns, (Leona) and I