I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day on Sunday. The weather was absolutely perfect here, and it was a great day. I invited my mom and dad over for brunch, and like I did for Mother’s Day, I tried to incorporate foods that my dad really likes. Probably close to the top of his favorite list are bananas. Normally, if we were having dinner together, I would make a banana cream pie, however, it was brunch, so I decided pie would be a little too decadent. Instead, I experimented with Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.
I’ll admit, this started out as a french toast recipe, but I really didn’t feel like standing over the stove grilling all of those pieces of french toast. Instead, I wanted to make it a casserole that I could simply throw in the oven. So…what started out as a baked french toast quickly became a bread pudding. I guess we could have just had pie at brunch…oh well!
First and foremost, the bread. My favorite bread to use for bread pudding, and french toast for that matter, is challah bread. It’s dense and eggy and just delicious. My local Wegman’s carries a great one, which I find to be really good. For this recipe, I used about 1/2 a 15 oz loaf of challah bread, so about 7 or 8 oz. Cut the bread into about 1 inch cubes, and set them aside.
Next, make the custard. Whisk 3 eggs with 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined. Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the bread cubes and 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Let this mixture sit for about a half hour so the bread can absorb the custard. After that time, pour the mixture into a greased 8″x8″ baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, until nicely browned and set.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and stir until well combined, then add 1/2 cup dark rum. Be careful when you add the rum, as the sauce will boil up as the alcohol cooks out. Once the sauce is smooth, add 3 ripe bananas, sliced, and 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Cook for a few minutes to warm the bananas.
Once the bread pudding is cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the bananas all over the top. Pour about half of the sauce over the bread pudding also. You can serve the leftover sauce on the side.
This definitely made a rich brunch entry, but it worked well with the crab quiche and arugula salad with peaches and blueberries. It was almost like a dessert, well, ok, it totally WAS dessert, and would be perfect after dinner too!