Wednesday, June 25, 2008

leftover toast transformed

it all started with leftover toasted upstairs bread that i didn't get a chance to eat yesterday...and well, the toast was still on the baking sheet on top of the stove this afternoon. i looked at that toast and tried to semi-ignore it as i did the dishes and cleaned all of the kitchen bits around the toast. as i was cleaning, i was trying to figure out whether i could use the leftover toast in something. by the time i finished wiping down the counters, i had pretty much decided upon a bread pudding with medjool dates, a ca grown nectarine, and sliced almonds. with that decided, i gathered the ingredients.....milk, eggs, agave, medjool dates, a couple of nectarines, sliced almonds, crème fraîche, plugra butter, and of course, the leftover toasted upstairs bread.

to begin, i chopped up the toast into bite size pieces...watching little crumbs flying everywhere...and wondering...hmmm...is this such a good idea after all? yet, i soldiered on.

i then pitted and chopped the dates...

followed by chopping the nectarine. once i chopped one...i decided that one would be all that i really needed.


once all of the chopping was done and put aside....


i moved on to whisking the wet ingredients (i.e., milk, eggs, softened butter, vanilla, agave, and a big tablespoon of crème fraîche).



after the whisking of the wet ingredients was complete, i then placed the bread cubes, dates, and nectarine pieces in a glass pie plate.


then i slowly poured the wet mix on top...as i was trying to figure out if i had too much liquid...yet, it turned out that i had just the right amount. how lucky is that? then i topped it all with sliced almonds and about two tablespoons of brown sugar. the brown sugar was a last minute decision. i was hoping that the brown sugar would give the bread pudding a nice color.


i placed the bread pudding in a preheated 400 degree oven and waited for about an hour. while it was baking...the smell was absolutely tantalizing. as i was taking deep breaths...i kept thinking "well, i hope it tastes ok. it was kind of a random set of ingredients."

then i took it out of the oven....so pretty....you can click on the picture (or any of them actually) for a close up...


after i took a moment or two to admire the dish....i then plated it...my anticipation of tasting it grew with each step....


i was about to start eating and then thought, why not a bit of crème fraîche? turns out that was an excellent idea.


i'm eating the bread pudding right now and oh my goodness. it is sooooo good. it is moist with the nicely sweet flavors of the brown sugar, nectarine, and dates. yet it isn't overly sweet. each bite of the pudding is different...sometimes there is a chunk of warm fruit paired with toasty almonds...sometimes the bite includes the moist caramelized bread with a bit of cool crème fraîche. hmmm. so good. so comforting. a perfect treat for an overcast day.

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