Thrilling Breakfast Blueberry Bread Pudding With Lemon Blueberry Sauce
Posted on: June 17, 2015 | Posted in: Recipes
Blueberry Bread Pudding Recipe With Lemon Blueberry Sauce
An Ode to Blueberries
“Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!”
~ Robert Frost
We are fortunate to live in the Fruit Belt of Michigan and are surrounded by huge fields of blueberry bushes. Over the years we marvel as they change with the seasons from Summer’s green lush bushes heavy with berries to the stark naked red branches poking through snow drifts in Winter. They’re rhythm of life has become a part of ours.
Michigan is the number one grower of high bush blueberries (over 110 million pounds!) with varieties including Bluecrop, Bluejay, Jersey, Little Giant, Burlington, Duke, Nelson, Patriot, Rubel and Spartan. These Michigan blueberries are larger and plumper than the lowbush Maine berries and all blueberries are known as the fruit with high antioxidants.
Blueberries are one of only three North American native fruits, along with cranberries and Concord grapes. The warm weather from the Lake Michigan breezes allows this longer season, and the sandy glacial soils and high water tables are perfect for blueberries. Our harvest begins in early July and continues until almost October. Summertime brings everyone to the fields to pick your own for jams, pies, crisps, cobblers, and ice cream. Long ago at The Silver Palate our first pantry products were Blueberry Vinegar and Blueberry Chutney. The uses for them ranged from salad dressings, marinades, cheese boards, condiment for smoked and grilled meats and poultry, to a signature dish of The Silver Palate Cookbook, Blueberry Chicken. While the vinegar and chutney were new and mysterious products in the late ‘70’s … one taste and everyone knew what to do with them.
Blueberries grow best on land where almost nothing else will because they require a high water table that would damage the roots of most crops – blueberries are about 84% water. They like sandy soil, long cold winters, and summers long enough to mature. That’s a fitting description of the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan.
Native Americans greeted the Pilgrims with dried wild low bush blueberries. Lewis and Clark noted that Pacific tribes pounded dried blueberries into venison when preparing to preserve it for winter.
The cultivated blueberry commonly found in today’s markets come mostly from high bush blueberries which grow up to 10 feet tall.
A good high bush blueberry is plump and luscious, sometimes as large as your thumb, azure blue with a waxy whitish -gray glaze that resembles frost on a glass.
Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino was our first 45 rpm. I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill …
And it wouldn’t be a Fourth of July fireworks celebration without Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Sundaes … that magical moment in the year when local blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all in season at the same time.
Thrilling Breakfast Blueberry Pudding With Lemon Blueberry Sauce
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best! Prepared the night before and quickly finished in the morning, these warm berries and cream – with just the spark of lemon – represent the best of all worlds. The ingredients are a bit simplistic, but the results are truly light and wonderful. Every time we serve this at Wickwood there are rave reviews … it’s worth the splurge.
3-1/2 cups soft white sandwich bread (or soft gluten free bread), crusts removed, torn into small pieces
3 cups heavy cream
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 can frozen lemonade (12 ounce), defrosted
½ cup maple syrup
2 cups blueberries plus 2 cups frozen or fresh
1 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Fresh Mint for garnish
Butter a 9x13x2 baking dish and evenly distribute the bread over the bottom.
Crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Add the cream, sugar, and salt and blend well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure that the bread is submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the pudding from the fridge at least two hours before baking.
Meanwhile prepare the blueberry syrup: place lemonade, 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries and maple syrup in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle, evenly, the remaining blueberries and raspberries over the pudding. Gently sprinkle the sugar over the top. Turn the oven to 375 and place the pudding on the middle rack of the oven (please do not place a cold glass baking dish into a pre-heated oven … it will shatter) and bake for 40-45 minutes. The pudding is done when it is slightly browned and when an inserted knife comes out clean. Let the pudding rest for five minutes before serving, sprinkle lightly with lemon zest and garnish with mint leaves. Serve the syrup in a bowl with a ladle to lightly drizzle the syrup over a portion of pudding. Swoon.