First of all, happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Growing up in Kentucky, people really did pinch pretty hard if you weren’t wearing green. Now that I am married to someone who is color blind (green, red, purple, brown…), we have to make sure that Devin is wearing the right colors when he goes out for this day! It only seemed appropriate to share an Irish cookbook called Favorite Flavors of Ireland and an Irish croissant bread pudding with custard sauce recipe to celebrate!
Disclosure: Ambassadors International sent me this cookbook for my honest review. I chose the recipe and the comments here are all my own.
First of all, this cookbook was something that I could actually sit down and read. There is a lot of history about Irish culture and and a lot of flavor. There are over 100 recipes that are divided up into the seasons for which the meal would typically be cooked. Interesting information is also included like: Irish festivals around the US. When pictures are not provided of foods, pictures of Ireland and the scenery are.
I ended up making a bread pudding recipe because I love bread pudding and I can honestly say that it isn’t disappoint. This was my first time making custard and I took the time for it to set a little too liberally, but after pouring the custard on and putting it in the fridge it congealed just fine by the next day. This bread pudding recipe is honestly one of the best recipes I’ve ever had… it tasted even better the second date after everything had to time to set up more!!
- 8 croissants, torn into 2-inch / 5-cm pieces
- 2 cups/ 300 g blueberries
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups/ 500 ml heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 cup/ 225 g sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 vanilla bean (or see my notes below)
- 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
- 2 cups/500 ml half-and-half
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean (or see my notes below)
- 5 large egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Butter a 9-inch/23-cm baking dish
- Put the croissants on a large baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the toasted croissant pieces with the blueberries in the prepared dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and stir them into the custard.
- Pour the custard over the croissants and let soak for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the almonds.
- Place the baking dish in a large baking pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden. Remove the baking dish from the water and let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Serve warm with teh custard sauce.
- To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the half-and-half and 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
- Split the vanilla bean in half, scrape out the seeds, and chop the pod into small pieces. Add to the half-and-half and heat for about 5 minutes, or until steaming.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Gently whisk the half-and-half mixture into the eggs, and then return the custard to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Do not allow the mixture to boil). Strain the custard into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (Makes about 2 cups/500 ml)
- I used a can and a half since the croissants were small in the package. However, fluffy store bought ones would be great too. I always try to make sure the whole bottom of the baking dish is covered for bread puddings.
- I couldn't find vanilla beans in the store so I substituted each vanilla bean for 1 tablespoon of pure Vanilla extract according to internet instructions I found.
- I placed the custard sauce directly on top of the bread pudding and let it congeal overnight after taking these photos.
This is a cute cookbook and this recipe is yummy!! I am really looking forward to going through and finding more recipes and was also happy to see some recipes my family already makes like potato cakes and cabbage; my parents have already been asking me about some of the recipes to see how they compare to our family favorites. The meat recipes in this book looked especially delicious! I would definitely recommend this for a friend or family member who is very proud of their Irish roots! I hope you are having a great Saint Patrick’s day!!