Recipe: Banana walnut bread pudding
- 1 vanilla bean
- 11 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 (12-ounce) baguette or other white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
- 1 pound bananas, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick (2 to 4 bananas)
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 Using a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a bowl; reserve the pod. Add the egg yolks and ¾ cup of the sugar and whisk until thick and yellow (whisk the mixture immediately to prevent the sugar from "cooking" the eggs).
2 In a medium pot, combine the cream, the remaining ¼ cup sugar, and the reserved vanilla bean pod. Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately remove from the heat; discard the pod. Whisking constantly, pour a small amount of the cream into the egg yolk mixture. Add the rest, a little at a time, until the cream is fully incorporated. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. You can make the custard up to 1 day ahead and store it, covered, in the refrigerator.
3 Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking pan. Combine the bread, bananas, and walnuts in the pan, making sure everything is well distributed. Pour in just enough custard mixture to completely cover the bread (you may have some leftover; save it). Let stand for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour (or let it rest overnight in the refrigerator). If the bread absorbs all the custard, top it off with a little more. Then firmly press the bread down into the custard so it's submerged.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
5 Cover the pan with foil. Place the pudding pan in a larger pan, adding just enough hot water to the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake until the pudding is lightly set and a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 1 to 1½ hours. The pudding may be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated to serve. Serves 8 to 10
Excerpted from Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Cookbook by Bruce Bromberg, Eric Bromberg, and Melissa Clark; Photographs by Quentin Bacon Copyright © 2010 by Bruce Bromberg, Eric Bromberg, and Melissa Clark; photographs by Quentin Bacon. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.