Quick-and-light rum raisin bread pudding
Vail CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: Living in the Colorado high country is pure joy. Baking in it isn’t. High altitude makes cookies spread in the pan, cakes fall, and few baked goods turn out as they do at sea level. This twice-monthly column presents recipes and tips to make baking in the mountains successful.
“Let me down easy” pleaded an email message I recently received. The writer’s story is a familiar one: He has been indulging heavily throughout the holiday season, knows he must change his ways, but can’t face giving up desserts completely. He requested a recipe low in fat, but still satisfying.
I’m hoping this Low-Fat Rum Raisin Bread Pudding fills the bill. It has a mere three grams of fat per serving but doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re eating diet fare; the rum and brown sugar provide the richness of a full-fledged dessert. Like most bread puddings, it’s down-home comfort food … served warm, with frozen yogurt, it’ll bring a sense of contentment to the end of your meal.
It is a quick and easy recipe that requires little of the cook. However, there are some essential steps. Please take the time to soak the raisins in the rum and to let the bread absorb the pudding mixture before baking. Doing so makes a big difference in the overall texture and taste of the dessert. I also strongly recommend serving it with the frozen yogurt. The play between the cold, creamy yogurt and the warm, slightly dry pudding is an excellent one.
Low-Fat Rum Raisin Bread Pudding
(make in an 8X8 baking dish)
Makes 6 servings
1/2 cup of dark raisins or a mix of dark and golden raisins
2 tablespoons of dark rum
4 slices of bread, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
12 ounces of evaporated skim milk (one can)
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
Step One: Place the raisins in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour the rum over them and soak them in it for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they are soft. Cover the bowl to prevent the rum from evaporating.
Step Two: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees with a rack in the center position. Lightly oil the baking pan and set it aside.
Step Three: Tear the bread slices into small pieces and spread them in an even layer in the greased baking dish. If the bread crusts are hard, don’t include them. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the evaporated milk, brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg and whisk until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the rum and raisins. Pour the mixture over the pieces of bread. Make sure that the raisins are evenly distributed and all of the bread is saturated. Let this stand for 10 minutes or so.
Step Four: Bake until the bread pudding puffs and is set in the center. This took about 35 minutes in my oven.
Step Five: Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla non-fat frozen yogurt. You can make the pudding earlier in the day, cover it , and reheat it just before serving in a 325 degree oven until it is warm to the touch. Shield it loosely with foil if it seems to be drying out while in the oven.
This is a variation of an Eating Well recipe.
Vera Dawson lives in Summit County, where she bakes almost every day. Her recipes have been tested in her home kitchen and, whenever necessary, altered until they work at our altitude. Contact Dawson with your comments about this column and/or your baking questions at email@example.com.
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