I made a new baking discovery last weekend. As I sat inside, cozy and warm, watching the snow fall (finally!), I had the urge to whip up something delicious. Looking through my rather bare cabinets, I briefly lamented that the season would not lend itself to a pretty tart brimming with fresh strawberries or blueberries, but I also knew that type of summery dessert would not serve to satisfy my snow day cravings.
Nope, I needed something a bit heartier, and I found the answer: bread pudding, made with bananas and a heavy splash of bourbon. And with that, I think I might have found the perfect mid-winter dessert.
If this recipe looks a bit familiar, it’s because I used the same basic framework from my Blueberry Bread Pudding last summer. As I said then, I thought it would be a great base for future seasonal interpretations, suggesting that it would be fantastic with apples and warming spices in the fall, which I completely forgot to do. (I will NOT make the same mistake next October!) Happily, this winter version popped into my head, and I have been enjoying the fruits of my labor all week long.
Rich, smooth, and studded with banana, this simple dessert was a very welcome treat on a cold and snowy day. I wasn’t the only one who thought so–every time I went to sneak a slice, it was clear that others had been there first.
Did I mention that the recipe includes bourbon?
Try topping it with vanilla ice cream, a bourbon caramel sauce (there I go again), warm maple syrup (a breakfast treat?), or drizzled with hot fudge. Enjoy!
Bourbon Banana Bread Pudding
Yields 8-10 servings
- 1 loaf of brioche or challah bread, torn into pieces (about 4-5 cups)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 bananas, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter, to coat the dish
- ¼ cup raw (turbinado) sugar*
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed pot until it is just about to boil. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, mix together the eggs, vanilla, bourbon and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly so that the eggs don’t scramble. Add the torn bread pieces and the banana slices to the custard and toss together well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter a large baking dish (mine was about 9 ½ inches round with tall 2 inch sides)**
- Pour the bread pudding mixture into the dish. Sprinkle the pudding with the cinnamon and raw sugar mixture. Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until the center is set.
- Remove the foil and cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until the pudding is set in the center. At the very end, put the pudding under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes to crisp up the top. Let the pudding sit for at least a half hour before serving.
* If you only have regular white sugar, that’s fine. The raw sugar creates a better crunchy crust, but it is not a big enough difference to deter you from making this recipe!
** The pudding puffed up a great deal while baking, I would recommend using a large baking dish, and putting a baking sheet underneath to catch any wayward pudding.
All photos styled and taken by Shelby Larsson.
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