Here is a recipe that brightens my day every time. It’s the kind of recipe that is perfect for the winter and tastes just like summer. I like that, I really like that thought! it reminds me that no matter how long the winter, spring and summer will come.
Winter is approaching and the subtle signs of snow are a way of telling us to bundle up and be ready. I, as a great listener, did just that and sported my winter jacket for the first time yesterday. In the past I used to refuse the idea of winter and I dreaded the moment of having to bring out the winter gear. Now, thanks to dishes like this, I can welcome winter with my head lifted up high to the idea of sunshine and blooms that will arrive next spring. I am not refusing to enjoy the winter as it has a beauty of its own, but I am just thankful that in the midst of a storm I can remember the spring and smile.
In my high school years, my favorite author was Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho and it is now as an adult that I get to experience and appreciate much of his wise tales. One of the most memorable phrases comes from his book Maktub: “God was generous with me because he gave me memories. He knew that, when winter arrived, I could always remember the spring and smile.” Today, with fuzzy socks on, long johns underneath and a warm piece of this bread pudding on my plate I am smiling big just like a butterfly would in a flowery meadow. This is my spring, my eternal spring that with hope I have created. So, if you are anxious about winter’s arrival, look for signs of spring in your life, go back to the positive memories that bring sunshine to your heart and don’t allow a cold temporarily circumstance to take away your smile.
A great thing about this recipe is that it is simple. Have all your ingredients ready, assemble, bake and enjoy!
Cut day-old bread into cubes, and soak in a mixture of eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla. Take a close look at the real vanilla bean specks in the picture below. It added such a great aroma and flavor.
Distribute the bread in a pan and cover with dollops of cream cheese and blueberries.
Bake for 1hr and a warm, gooey, sweet and creamy bread pudding will be the result. This can be enjoyed as a dessert or for breakfast.
Blueberry Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding with Rum Maple Syrup – yields 12 pieces
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup real maple syrup
1 shot of dark Rum (preferably Caribbean Rum)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla.
Add bread cubes and let stand for 15 minutes until soften.
Transfer soaked bread cubes to a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle blueberries over the cream cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 60 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
For the rum maple syrup, combine maple syrup and rum on a small sauce pot and heat together over medium low heat until well combined.
Adapted from a breakfast casserole from a Taste of Home magazine