Dried cranberries were on sale. Imported foodstuff is very expensive here and so things that we took for granted at home becomes a luxury in these parts. I was coveting Craisins, but at RMB33 for a small bag, I could only admire from afar. But this past weekend, they were doing a 'buy one get one free' at Freshmart, and so I grabbed a pair. (We're in a recession – I do what I can) They could go down cheaper if the supermarket finds there are no takers, but I was willing to take the risk!
Dinner was a simple affair last night so I decided to make up for it with a baked dessert. I had not made one in a while. Looking into the pantry I found I had all the ingredients for bread pudding. Throw in a handful of cranberries and we've bumped it up a notch. This is a recipe I concocted a while back – another one of those “use up what's in the pantry” days. Measurements are approximate.
Bread 4-5 slices
Eggs 2, lightly beaten
Milk 1 ½ cups
Sugar 1/3 cup
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Dried cranberries a handful
Walnuts a small handful
Cut the bread slices into cubes or tear them up roughly. If you wish, you can also butter them, put them together sandwich style and cut them into cubes. Place in an ovenproof bowl. Add the dried cranberries and walnuts. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten eggs with milk, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the bread slices. Allow the egg/milk to absorb into the bread for a few minutes. You can also toss lightly to evenly coat the bread slices. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or evaporated milk.
You can substitute the cranberries with raisins and chopped apple. Instead of walnuts, you can also use almonds or pecans. I don't like my bread pudding too wet. This recipe yields a firm textured pudding.