Betty’s Traditional Bread Pudding is a rich, meringue topped bread pudding souffle that is a perfect dessert for any special occasion. It is one of my family’s favourite recipes!
Betty’s Traditional Bread Pudding is a highly regarded recipe in my household. It comes courtesy of my mother-in-law, Betty. She has been making it to the delight of her family for many years. It is a special treat that we were only able to enjoy when she came to visit. Since she lives quite far from us, this doesn’t happen very often. So, the last time she was here , I thought that it was high time that I had Betty show me how to make it. I paid close attention to the entire process to be sure that I could recreate it later. It isn’t difficult to make, it just needs a little planning and some patience as the cooking time is quite long!
Betty’s granddaughter, Jessica would tell you that this is one of her all-time favourite desserts. If you love meringue like Jessica does, then this is the recipe for you! The custard texture of the bread pudding layer nicely compliments the light and fluffy meringue topping. Without further ado, here is the recipe for Betty’s Traditional Bread Pudding.
- 14 Slices White Bread, 1/2" cubes You can use the crust as well.
- 6 Cups Milk, whole preferably
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 7 Egg Yolks Reserve the egg whites for the meringue
- 1 Tsp Vanilla `
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Raspberry Jam
- 7 Egg Whites At Room Temperature
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla, clear preferably
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9"x 13" pan with vegetable spray and set aside. In a large bowl, add the milk, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Using a hand mixer, mix all ingredients together. Set aside. Add the cubed bread to the pan and then the milk mixture. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The bread pudding is ready when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be sure to keep an eye on it once it gets close to the 1 hour and 15 minute mark. You should start checking if it's done at this point. You can now prepare the meringue while the bread pudding is baking.
Add to the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, or to a large bowl if using a hand mixer, the egg whites that have been reserved. Along with the egg whites, add to the bowl the cream of tartar and the vanilla. It is best to use clear vanilla if possible so as to keep the meringue white in colour. Start the hand or stand mixer on low speed. Once the egg whites start to get frothy and opaque, begin adding in the sugar in small increments. Leave the mixer running as you do this. The egg whites will start to turn very white with a pillowy texture. Keep on mixing!! You are trying to achieve a consistency that has stiff peaks that will hold their shape. The egg whites will take on a glossy appearance. It will be smooth and silky with no sugar grains evident. Once you have reached this point, the meringue is ready to go on top, It may take quite a bit of time to reach this point, especially if you are using a hand mixer. This can take upwards of 10 minutes. To make the bread pudding look attractive, create small peaks with your spreader before returning the pudding to the oven. You'll want to bake for another 15-20 minutes until the meringue is a nice golden colour. I have included a picture below demonstrating what the colour should look like. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and let cool before slicing and eating!
There are a number of baking tips I have to pass on to you courtesy of Betty. The white bread must be quite dried out. If you don’t have bread that is hard enough, not to worry! Spread out the bread slices onto a baking sheet and place in the oven on 225 degrees just long enough for the bread to get firm. You don’t want to leave it too long as it shouldn’t be toasted!You can also put the bread out on the counter overnight to achieve the “stale” bread texture that works very well with this recipe. Betty includes the crust as well in this recipe. The number of slices of bread is based on using the crust. It isn’t necessary to use raspberry jam for this recipe. Any flavour of jam will work. It is just the favourite choice at my house.
In the recipe ingredients, I said to use 1 cup of jam for the topping. This amount is really just a guideline. If you would like a thicker layer of jam, then by all means, add more! The important part of this step is to ensure that all of the bread is covered in jam.
This is the meringue consistency you are wanting to achieve. It will take quite a bit of time with the hand mixer to get it to this point. If you have a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment. It will be less labour-intensive this way but either way works just fine. Using the stand mixer was infinitely less time consuming. You can let it mix away while you do other things.
This is a picture of the meringue that has been allowed to cool. The sugar “crystals” that look like gold beads won’t be visible until the bread pudding has cooled down. Doesn’t it look pretty??!! It looks almost too pretty to eat….but not quite!