So our recent 1960's fascination made it all the more exciting when our friends invited us over for dinner and a night of bridge. I had never played the game, nor had I really considered it an option for anyone under 75, but back in the gay days of 1960 when Mad Men is set, bridge would have been a typical excuse for couples to get together and socialize.
In an effort to play the good 1960s housewife, I decided I couldn't show up empty handed and a simple bread pudding would be the perfect accompaniment for an old school card game. As per usual I tapped my favorite recipe resource Food and Wine for the recipe, which I've pasted below
As seen in Food and Wine Magazine:
Jam and Bread Pudding
- One 1-pound loaf challah bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons strawberry jam or preserves
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of the challah in the dish; tear the slices to fit. Spread 3/4 cup of the jam on top; cover with the remaining challah.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, 2 1/2 cups of the milk and the vanilla and pour over the challah; press to soak and brush with 4 tablespoons of the butter. Cover with foil and bake for 24 minutes, removing the foil halfway through, until the pudding is set; remove from the oven.
- Preheat the broiler. Blend the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk with the confectioners' sugar. Add the remaining butter and jam and stir until the glaze is smooth. Spread all but 1/4 cup of the glaze over the pudding and broil until the glaze is golden. Drizzle the bread pudding with the remaining glaze and serve.
I usually like to sample my cooking before I let anyone else do so, but there isn't a way to take a bite out of a bread pudding without anyone noticing, so I had to trust it would be tasty. If my friend's third serving of bread pudding was any indication, the jam and bread pudding was a hit!
It wasn't the most aesthetically pleasing dish, but it was moist and sweet without being cloying, and even days later, it still tastes delicious with a bit of whipped cream on top. Better yet, turns out bridge is pretty fun, too! Now if I could just get my hair into a perfect 1960s 'do, I'd be all set...