Great Good Vegan New Orleans Bread Pudding
I know it’s Tuesday, but it really feels like Monday #2 over here. I’m sure learning to go to bed earlier would make my mornings more pleasant, but for now I’ll just have to perk up with a cup of coffee and a nice bowl of warm bread pudding. Mmm.. bread pudding… the breakfast of champions. No, really! This New Orleans Bread Pudding (page 51) from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally would make a great breakfast treat; it’s sweetened with fruit and fruit juices rather than refined sugars. And we all know there’s nothing worse than the 10 am doughnut hangover. This book takes classic desserts we love and makes them vegan and less unhealthy with no or low refined sugars, whenever possible. Speaking of sweets, I also wanted to mention Book Publishing Company has extended their Luscious Vegan Desserts campaign through November, so get over there to enter for a chance to win one of their yummy vegan dessert books that I love so much!
New Orleans Bread Pudding
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 pound dense whole grain bread, thickly sliced (stale is fine)
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot
- 2 cups vanilla soymilk
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large apple, cored and chopped
- 3/4 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and chopped
- 2 cups apple or pear juice
- 1/2 cup soymilk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mirin or whiskey
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
Soak the raisins in 1/4 cup of the orange juice for about 10 minutes, until they are plump. Cut the crusts off the bread and cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Put the bread in a large bowl. Drain the raisins, reserving the orange juice, and add to the bread. Combine the arrowroot and remaining 1/4 cup orange juice in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to dissolve. Add the reserved juice, soymilk, apple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour over the bread and stir in the chopped apple. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Before baking, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or a 2-quart baking dish with shallow sides. Stir half the pecans into the bread mixture and spoon into the baking dish. Cover the pudding with parchment paper, and overwrap with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully uncover. Bake 20 minutes longer.
To make the hard sauce, bring the juice to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Continue to boil until it has reduced to 1 cup. Lower the heat and stir in the soymilk and mirin. If you are using whiskey, wait to add it at the end. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot and orange juice, and stir with a fork to dissolve. Add the dissolved arrowroot to the juice mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat only until the liquid boils. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, almond, and orange extracts. If you are using the whiskey, add it now.
Serve the pudding warm or at room temperature with the hard sauce, and sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining nuts. If you prefer, a scoop of frozen nondairy ice cream melting on top of a bowl of warm pudding is a very good alternative to sauce.
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook! There’s still plenty of time!