It’s blueberry season! This means we are happily buying quarts of the little gems at the farmers market every weekend and are busy making blueberry pancakes, blueberry scones, and blueberry muffins while sprinkling them on yogurt, oatmeal, and anything else that might be on the table. It also means we are busily looking for new blueberry recipes to add to our repertoire. So, when my husband made these blueberry bread puddings with lemon curd a couple of weeks ago and they were a hit with the family, I was thrilled. These individual bread puddings are custardy just the way a good bread pudding should be. However, because they use low-fat milk instead of cream and because they are bursting with lemon and blueberry flavors, they feel lighter than most bread puddings. Definitely a perfect dessert for spring.
The original recipe called for frozen blueberries but why not take advantage of the season and use beautiful fresh berries. We don’t seem to be slowing down on buying fresh blueberries anytime soon so it looks like more blueberry recipes in the making. Blueberry hand pies, anyone?
- 2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread, crust removed
- Cooking spray
- 1½ cups fresh blueberries
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons butter
- To prepare puddings, whisk together the milk, sugar, lemon zest, and eggs in a large bowl. Add bread and toss gently with a rubber spatula until all the bread pieces are evenly coated. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray.
- Divide half of bread mixture evenly among the ramekins. Sprinkle evenly with half of the blueberries. Divide remaining bread mixture among ramekins and top with remaining blueberries.
- Cover each ramekin with foil. Place ramekins in a 13x9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- While the puddings bake, prepare the curd - whisk together the sugar and egg in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color, whisking constantly. Stir in lemon juice and butter; cook 2 minutes more or until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, whisking constantly.
- Place saucepan in a bowl filled with ice water, being careful to not let any water fall into the curd. Stir the lemon curd occasionally until it cools to room temperature. Serve lemon curd over warm bread puddings.