Part XII: The Rhapsody of the Commons
Pretty much everything about bread pudding is gross. Even the name sounds gross, despite describing the dish to completion. Take stale bread, soak it in cream and sugar until it’s unbearable to look at, and then jam it in an oven until it’s still pretty gross looking. And eat it.
Sounds awful, right? Rhetorical question: it does. But somehow, taking the culinary equivalent of watery diarrhea, adding some vanilla and baking it makes it taste goddamned amazing. Of course, being the quintessential vision of American obesity-inducing terror (despite being from, I assume, the U.K.) doesn’t hurt. It’s basically a lactose-intolerant’s nightmare and the equivalent of a Saw trap for diabetics jammed into one tidy little glass baking dish. I figured I’d toss a few antioxidants their way, maybe make the slow, Rascal-powered whirring towards death a couple milliseconds slower. Here’s some Blueberry Meyer Lemon Bread Pudding with Rosemary “Crumble”.
Note: Before I hear the shrieking chorus of “hypocrite” reach my ears: yes, using quotes as an excuse for your shitty cooking abilities pisses me off too. We all know what you really mean when you made a Southwest Artisan “Soufflé”. You made crap. So yes, my rosemary crumble isn’t really crumbly. But “Rosemary Smear” sounds ridiculous, and you know it, so I’m gonna go ahead and keep those quotes. You probably won’t taste them. And if you do, I don’t really care.
Here’s what you need:
– Half a loaf of Challah bread (it’s better if its a little stale, but it won’t kill you if it’s fresh)
– A little more than 1 cup of blueberries
– 3 cups milk – 1/2 a stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
– 1 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1/2 cup sugar
– pinch of salt
-1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest (or regular lemon zest if you suck)
– 3 eggs
Rosemary “Crumble” :
-1/4 teaspoon rosemary
-1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 cup flour
Here’s how to make it:
Start by getting yourself a small saucepan, heating it on medium-low, and putting a bunch of stuff in there: milk, butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Keep it on there until the butter’s melted.
While that’s happening, cut your bread into pieces about an inch big. Or you can tear it, claw it, chainsaw it. It doesn’t really matter. Pieces of bread in a glass thingy, that’s all you’re going for.
Oh, and blueberries. More than what’s in the picture. Add those in with the bread, and make sure they’re evenly distributed.
Pour your milk/butter/damn near everything mixture in with the bread and let it soak in for a couple minutes. It won’t take long, mostly because that’s how bread works.
Next, beat your eggs a bit and add the lemon peel. Then mix it in with the gross bread stuff, cover it, and let it hang out in the fridge overnight, because it wasn’t enough of a disgusting nightmare pool already.
Once you’ve emotionally readied yourself to confront the abyss of flavor that’s been brewing in your fridge, take it out and preheat your oven to 350. Then start making your crumble.
All you need to do here is cream together the butter and brown sugar, then add in everything else and stir. Easy, right? Right.
Now, this part isn’t going to be graceful, but it’s worth it, so stick with me. Since this stuff doesn’t really crumble, just smear it over the top of your bread pudding. It doesn’t even have to be everywhere, just make sure its evenly spread enough so you’ll get a little with every bite.
Just bake it in the oven for 45 minutes and you’re done. If you want to be anal about it, stick a knife in and see if it comes out clean. If it doesn’t, put it back in for a few more minutes. But 45 minutes should do the trick.
Here’s something that doesn’t sound gross: Dibiase with Fly Me 2 The Moon:
When you really think about it, a lot of the most disgusting looking stuff turns out being pretty tasty. Granted, a lot of it is just awful. There’s a reason it looks that way, nature’s pretty good about that. On the other side of the greasy, rust-covered coin, if you see a burnt-out barbecue shack or a run-down taco truck, it’s probably gonna be delicious. Keep an open mind, readers. Eat something ugly-looking.