Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, Oh My

I'm from the south and we are most fond of our sweet potatoes. There's sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, and sweet potato souffle just to name a few of our favorites. Then there's bread pudding, another traditional Southern staple. You can imagine my excitement when I ran across a recipe for sweet potato bread pudding several years back. I can't be sure, but I believe there was jubilant dancing.
And, while I would like to give credit for this most yummy of yummy recipes, I can't. Unfortunately I'm not completely sure where I came across this one. If memory serves me correctly, and that's a rare thing on some days, I believe it came from the Loveless Cafe from Nasvhille, Tennessee. Again, I'm not sure. All I have is a recipe written down on a bar napkin.
This bread pudding is everything you would think it to be and more. You get the creamy, rich, custard mixed in with a healthy cup of mashed sweet potato, molasses, and heaping mounds of meringue folded not only into the pudding, but heaped on top as well. The only thing to make this taste any better than a warm serving drizzled with caramel sauce, is having good kitchen help to make it.
Ingredients:
2 loaves of French bread cut into 1/4 inch segments. For this batch I made two loaves using my old fashioned white recipe but only used 1 1/2 loaves.
Custard:
8 egg yolks
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup roasted and mashed sweet potato
2 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup molasses
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
bourbon, optional
Meringue:
8 egg whites
1 cup granulated white sugar

Step 1. Cream egg yolks and sugar.

Step 2. Mix in remaining custard ingredients. Layer bread into a well greased, read buttered, oven safe dish and saturate with the custard. In the past I have soaked the bread in bourbon before transferring to the baking dish and saturating with the custard. It's fabulous either way.

Step 3. Remind your brood it must be baked before consumption. Proceed to bake for 25 minutes at 325.

Step 4. While baking mix together the 8 egg whites with the cup of granulated white sugar till stiff peaks are formed.

Step 5. After the pudding has baked for 25 minutes gently fold the meringue into the bread pudding and mound on top. Return to oven and bake an additional 25 minutes at 325.

It's best to let this cool a few minutes once out of the oven, if for no other reason than not to scald the roof of your mouth. Serve with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or ice cream. Or, if you're feeling especially sassy, all three.

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