Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Bread Pudding

This recipe comes to you courtesy of the "bug" that my mother-in-law put in my ear.

That, and the container of fresh, homemade ricotta cheese that sat in my refrigerator that I couldn't seem to use fast enough.  It was literally waiting for a burst of inspiration to hit me.

When she mentioned to me that she had the best blueberry bread pudding recently, the inspiration hit me like a crashing wave.  It seemed like a good idea to marry the two.  Soft bread, fresh ricotta, a splash of lemon, bursting blueberries, sugar.

Sounded good to me!  I could barely wait until the next day to whip this up!

This bread pudding is soft and sweet, moist and warm.  Delicious!

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Bread Pudding
Adapted from:  Food for My Family

1 loaf french or vienna bread, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 2-1/2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl beat the eggs. Mix in sugar and ricotta cheese. Add the lemon zest and juice, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and beat until evenly combined. Stir in the melted butter.

Add the bread cubes to the milk and egg mixture and stir until all pieces of bread are completely covered. Let sit for 20 minutes. Stir in blueberries and pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before serving. 

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