– This gluten-free bread pudding is the ultimate in GF rich decadence –
A few months ago, I received a copy of Ready for Dessert, by David Lebovitz. While it’s a gorgeous book with about a billion recipes created by a master of the art of dessert-making, these books always make me a little sad, because I usually can’t eat most of the recipes inside. One day I realized this was silly, and instead of relegating myself to nothing but window shopping through cookbook photos, I decided to start looking through dessert books with a new eye: the de-glutening eye.
Some recipes just can’t be de-glutenized. Others, like cakes and cookies, require a little monkeying, while recipes like pies and tarts often need nothing more than an alternate crust preparation. Occasionally you’ll run across a dish that will allow you to just drop in an alternate ingredient, and then it’s smooth sailing the rest of the way. David’s book has a few of these easy swap-and-pop recipes, and below you’ll find my favorite of the bunch: a gluten free orange almond bread pudding recipe.
I can’t even put into words how good this dessert is. Sure, David’s been at this for years and he’s got baking down to a science, but this bread pudding recipe made me bounce in my seat and brought about a kind of euphoria that you’ll only find with the prefect balance of texture and flavor. Despite the fact that this was made with gluten free bread, David’s orange almond bread pudding still excelled beyond any other bread pudding recipe I’ve ever tried. And that says a lot.
- 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- Grated zest of 4 oranges, preferably organic (I used 6 small, ripe tangerines)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or Contreau (I used Triple Sec)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 7 ounces (200 grams) almond paste, crumbled
- 1 loaf (roughly 1 pound, or 450 grams) of firm-textured white bread, cut into 1/2″ slices – gluten-free white rice bread works particularly well for this recipe
- 1/2 cup of caramel topping of your choice, such as David’s Tangerine Butterscotch Sauce
- Warm the milk, cream, orange zest and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cover with foil or the pot’s lid, and let steep for one hour.
- While you are waiting for the cream mixture to steep, butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish or souffle mold.
- After one hour, reheat the cream mixture until it’s very warm. Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl, gradually adding the warm cream while whisking constantly to prevent scrambling the eggs.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract, almond extracts, orange liqueur and cinnamon, then pour the mixture through a strainer to remove orange zest and other lumps. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs and almond paste until they are smooth. You can use an electric hand mixer for this, but use a low speed as it will tax the motor in your mixer.
- Spread a spoonful of almond-egg paste over one side of a slice of bread, then place the slice in the prepared baking dish, almond paste side down. Continue spreading paste on bread, and layering slices into the dish. If you are using a round dish, cut the slices in half diagonally, then layer the resulting triangles in a pinwheel pattern.
- Pour the egg-cream mixture over the bread and gently press down, submerging the layers in the liquid.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least an hour), pressing down occasionally to make sure the top layers of bread are soaked through. Ed note: I recommend leaving overnight for a rich, velvety-smooth pudding)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). If you've put the bread pudding in the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature before baking by placing it on the counter for at least an hour.
- Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding liberally with sugar. Set the baking dish in a water bath by setting it in a large roasting pan, and then filling the roaster with water until it is halfway up the sides of the pudding’s baking dish.
- Bake until pudding is puffed up in the center and the top is brown, about 1 hour.
- Let cool until warm. Serve warm, drizzled with caramel sauce.
If you like this gluten free orange almond bread pudding recipe, then here are some other posts you might like: