Lauren McDuffie's Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
- 24 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Kosher salt, as needed
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
- 1.5 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cup halved Cane River Mammoth or Elliott Pecans
- You will also need: butter or non-stick spray, for the baking dish.
This can really be labeled as a French Toast Casserole or a Bread Pudding, depending on the time of day and what topping(s) you choose (ice cream vs. maple syrup). With sweet vanilla and brown sugar as sidekicks, the pecans are a perfect fit with the flavorful Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. The only trick to nailing this simple-to-prepare recipe is building in time for the custard to soak into the bread. An hour should do it, but overnight is even better!
Serving suggestions: Use maple syrup for a "French Toast Casserole" style breakfast option or vanilla/butter pecan ice cream with caramel for a bread pudding option.
- Put the cut-up Hawaiian rolls in a large bowl, and leave them uncovered for at least an hour before drenching in the custard.
- Butter either a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish or you can prepare individual bread puddings in 8 medium-sized buttered ramekins (see note).
- Meanwhile, make the custard. In a blender, combine the eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend until smooth.
- Pour over the roll pieces in the large bowl, and toss to really drench them. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the middle position.
- After the bread has had a chance to soak in the custard, pile it all into the baking dish or into the buttered ramekins.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and pecans. Top the bread puddings evenly with the pecan mixture, stir gently just to mix it in slightly.
- Bake for 35 (for smaller, individual portions) to 55 minutes (for a large baking dish), or until golden brown. The centers will still be jiggly when it's done. The bread pudding will firm up as it falls and sets out of the oven.
Serve warm with maple syrup (if serving as French toast) or with ice cream and caramel (if serving as a bread pudding). Enjoy!
NOTE 1: To prepare in individual servings, as pictured, you can simply pile the soaked bread cubes in ramekins (any size), allowing the bread to stack twice as high as the dishes. Put the ramekins on a large baking sheet to catch any spillage.
NOTE 2:The bread puddings will rise a lot as they bake, but they will fall back down as they cool.