Julia’s French toast pudding (Originally for CliqueClack Food)

I’ve been told many times over the years that my approach to cooking is weird. Namely, I view recipes the way the Pirate’s Code is viewed in Pirates of the Caribbean – I think of it more as a set of guidelines. When I’m in the mood to make something new, my method is to look up as many different variations on that recipe I can find, pick and choose the ones I like, and make the rest up. Consequently, I don’t actually have solid recipes so much as basic concepts I re-use and tweak based on what’s in my refrigerator and what I feel like eating that day. I have tried submitting these as recipes with notes like “improvise here!” and “change this for this new form of the same thing!”, but I have been roundly told that that is not how recipes work. Which, as far as I’m concerned, sucks.

One of my favorite bases is something I found online that was called “bread pudding muffins.” The idea was that you took a cupcake liner, filled it with stale bread and half an egg, and baked it. And that’s a cool enough idea, but it’s super boring and clearly demands improvisation. But after two years of using this idea as a base, it has become my favorite thing ever. I eagerly await us having enough stale bread to make this. I’ve tried every variation under the sun. Sometimes I make it in cupcake tins. Sometimes I make it in a pan as a bake. I’ll add veggies, fruits, beans, spices, bacon, or pretty much whatever I can find hiding in my refrigerator. You can do anything with this. The sky is your limit. These two years of bread pudding experimentation have been delicious ones, and I have desperately wanted to write about this, only to realize that “get bread, eggs, and improvise!” did not pass muster as a recipe. And so I held off until I found one variation on it I loved enough to post.

I am proud to announce that I have found that variation.

(Read more…)

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