Life is delicious. As a gluten-freer, I sometimes miss bread-heavy meals and spongy caked desserts. I equally miss Belgian waffle breakfasts and stuffed French toast.
So last night when I got home from listening to some stellar bluegrass (high-fives to the Six Deadly Venoms) I decided to make myself the best of both for breakfast: bread pudding. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Easy to throw together. With no white sugar (I rarely consume it). And celebrating end-of-the-summer fruits. A toss between cobbler, baked pancakes (I’m obsessed) and bread pudding.
Success, people, success.
This recipe is an insane journey of color, texture and flavor. I used ripe blueberries and summer peaches along with dried apricots to give the fruit some va-va-voom. The gluten-free bread base was soaked overnight in eggs, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon extract, hazelnut extract and just enough honey and maple syrup to sweeten the load slightly. And topped with slivered almonds, the texture was smooth with a tiny crunch.
The next day I quickly boiled some fruit, threw it together and baked it for 45 minutes.
You can alter the recipe by doing what I did – playing with what you have in your pantry and adjusting to your allergy needs. Omit the nuts completely if you want! Add some fresh lemon zest (though I highly recommend having lemon oil on hand for recipes like this – it’s the Italian and Portuguese baker in me). Play with extracts and spices to your heart’s content. As long as you have the same basic proportions, you’ve got this delectable fruity, bready piece of heaven in the bag.
If you’ve got problems with sugar, though, I will confess that I’m a bit shaky as I’m typing this, having eaten my serving. But I also just drank an entire pot of green tea. So it’s anyone’s guess.
As a hearty breakfast this recipe will serve four. But top it with your choice of ice cream after a long meal and it’ll satiate six.
If you’re going to put it into wine glasses like I did, make sure it’s cool, people. Live and learn, right?
- Six slices of gluten-free bread at room temperature.
- 4 large eggs.
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
- Honey, maple syrup or both to make 1/4 cup.
- 1 tsp cinnamon.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- 1/4 tsp lemon extract.
- 1/4 tsp hazelnut extract (or almond).
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds).
- 3 small peaches or plums.
- 1 pint blueberries.
- 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I used apricots).
- 1 tsp fresh, chopped mint.
- Place bread in a square Pyrex pan, 8″ or 9″, overlapping bread as best as possible.
- In a small bowl, beat all the ingredients from the eggs to the extracts, in that order, whisking continually.
- Pour over the bread and flip bread so that all is soaked in egg mixture.
- Leave overnight to absorb.
- When ready to assemble and bake, preheat oven to 350°.
- Rinse, peel, pit and dice the fruit. Place in a small pot over medium heat and heat until the blueberries burst and the fruits soften.
- Stir in the dried fruit and mint, and pour over bread mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes until the bread rises and the fruit starts to bubble.
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