Airy Rosemary Citrus Pignole Bread Pudding

By • February 19, 2010 • 33 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by fluffy chiffon cakes (fluffing the egg whites separate from their yolks), my love for making flan and creme brulee, as well by Lemon Pignole cookies. I used several varieties of citrus since I lacked Meyer lemons and flavored the pudding with honey and rosemary for a garden-like twist. And just so ya know, this is the most bowls you'll every see me dirty in the making of one dish! gabrielaskitchen

Food52 Review: We nicknamed this "restaurant" bread pudding -- not because it's difficult to make, but because if it were served to us in a restaurant (not to mention gabrielaskitchen's home) we'd be duly impressed. The herbs, vanilla, and a trio of citrus zests infuse the milk with a heady mix of complementary flavors, and honey adds a rich, musky sweetness that sugar simply cannot. The sweetness of the custard is offset by lemon juice and butter-soaked bread cubes, and whipped egg whites lighten the pudding. The resulting dessert miraculously separates into a rich, custardy base and a puffy, tender top layer studded with toasted pine nuts. - A&MA&M

Serves 8

  • 1 large loaf Italian or French bread, about 3 cups cubed
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dry rosemary pulverized
  • 1 teaspoon zest of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon zest of grapefruit
  • 1 teaspoon zest of one orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted pinenuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Cut or tear a loaf of bread into approximately 1 inch cubes. Spread the bread, in one layer, on baking sheets. Toast for about 10 minutes, until bread is slightly crisp on the outside but still spongy on the inside.
  2. Place milk, rosemary, citrus zest and vanilla in a sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then promptly remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 15 minutes. If you used fresh rosemary remove and discard the sprigs and leaves. Add honey to the milk mixture stirring until completely incorporated.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, lemon juice and melted butter.
  4. Prepare a 8 x 8 x 1 1/2 in. square pan. Lightly grease the bottom and sides with unsalted butter. Place bread into the pan.
  5. In a separate bowl, separate egg yolks and white, reserving both for use. Beat the egg yolks until lemon colored. Add to the milk mixture, blending well.
  6. In yet another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the first milk and egg mixture.
  7. Pour the final pudding-like mixture over the bread, making sure that it is evenly coated. Top with toasted pinenuts.
  8. Place the baking pan into a larger pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the outer pan to come halfway up the sides of the pan containing the bread pudding.
  9. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream (1 small carton heavy cream plus 2 Tbs. sugar whipped).
Jump to Comments (33)

Tags: bread pudding, citrus, rosemary

Comments (33) Questions (2)

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Barbara_davilman

6 months ago DAVILCHICK

I have been DYING to make this dish since it won its contest but my husband isn't a huge bread pudding fan so every time I suggested it he gave me that "do you have to?" look. But last weekend I prevailed and it was quite the show stopper. We were at a dinner party for 8 people so I doubled the recipe and I'm glad I did because EVERYONE had seconds. There wasn't a drop left. So light and airy and refreshing. I made the recipe as written and it was perfect. Thank you so much! I'm just sorry it took me so long to make it.

Flower-bee

almost 3 years ago Droplet

This is a treasure. Gracias Gabriela.

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over 3 years ago mem

I substituted buttermilk for the milk and it worked out well. It was just a little too sweet for my taste, so next time I plan to cut 1/3 of the honey and add a pinch of salt. Also, the consistency of the bottom layer was almost greasy, so I am going to cut the butter a bit as well. I'll definitely try it out again, the flavors are beautiful together.

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over 3 years ago Hark

Just a warning, this was very rich, and my kitchen was little chaotic while cooking, but it was tasty, and apparently feeds a lot more people than I thought it would.

Missginsu_bike

about 4 years ago MissGinsu

Just saw this one. Definitely going in my recipe box under the "how to impress the guests" category.

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Here are two things Amanda and Merrill pointed out in their video that I want to include on this page in case you make this recipe without watching the video. Do watch the video though it's cute!
A) In step 5 make sure to add the warm milk mixture to the eggs little by little so the eggs temper and don't' "scramble."
B) In step 6 beat the whites to just under stiff peaks. That is, beat until fluffy and airy.

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over 4 years ago HaikuTofu

Gorgeous- I think it will be worth the extreme dishwashing to try this!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Thanks, it was (although my boyfriend did the dishes, not I).

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over 4 years ago ZiggyPiecrust

I made a Strawberry Rhubarb pie (strawb season just starting in FL) AND this fabulous amazing bread pudding for my husband's birthday party last night to rave reviews from all. How can you not love something covered in pignolis.

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Seems like a nice complimentary dessert- rhubarb pie! So glad you enjoyed the pudding!

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over 4 years ago UWSMexicanFoodie

This was FANTASTIC!!

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over 4 years ago Nancy Nicole

This sounds incredible! I've been making lavender honey lately and think I'll try making this recipe with that!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

I hop you will you be posting your recipe for the honey. How does one infuse honey with herbs? Pulverized?

Biscuit

over 4 years ago Slurrpalicious

Although I'm not a big fan of pine nuts, I must say that your pudding looks scrumptious. Since I haven't tried making it myself I wouldn't know this...but from the photograph it looks like it would be creamy. I would have voted for you as well, 'cause I can't make up my mind, but the site tells me I can only vote once. But anyway (Vote: Slurrpalicious)

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Thanks....it's definitely a tough decision!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

When serving this, it'd be nice to set the pan on charred pine branches, a la arielleclementine! That would be a showstopper. Just don't burn your house down. ;~)

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

I'm going to arielleclementines recipes now to check this out...intrigued.

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over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

I love the combination of citrus with the pine nuts sprinkled on top (my favorite!) - great recipe!

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over 4 years ago student epicure

this looks incredible! can't wait to try it out =)

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

As does yours! I'm a chocolate fiend and my beau loves his bourbon! I'm giving your recipe a try very soon!

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over 4 years ago ENunn

Oh, my God: I have just had a bread pudding conversion. I will never compare bread pudding to Joe Lieberman again. Lovely!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

hehe. I want to hear more about this bread pudding : Joe Lieberman comparison.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 4 years ago Lizthechef

This sounds elegant. I have a recipe that uses citrus and separates into layers but it's much less interesting. Since I'm awash in Meyer lemons, I will try them...

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Please let me know how the Meyer Lemons work out. I'm embarrased to admit I've never had one! This recipe was my way of getting a more complex citrus flavor sans the Meyers.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This looks and sounds amazing. It's like a big giant pignoli cookie!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

yup!

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

I can't believe I missed this I thought I looked at all the bread puddings. You bet I'll be making this, this looks great. Saving in my file right now. We have honey bees and the honey this year has citrus notes that will be great in this. Thanks for entering this recipe.

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

You're so lucky to have bees! Hope you enjoy it!

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

This looks very delicious. I love pine nuts -- I'm looking forward to trying this!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

Thanks, I love pine nuts too! In New Mexico we call them piñon and eat them like sunflower seeds...although they are a bit more difficult to crack with your teeth....

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

I'm from New Mexico as well...love those pinons!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Rosemary and orange go so well together. (I make a red wine vinegar that's infused with the two.) The pinenuts are a delightful touch, as well. Very nicely done!!!

Gaby_by_sarah

over 4 years ago gabrielaskitchen

oooo, have you posted the recipe for your red wine vinega? I'd love to try it!