Comforting and creamy Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding, flavoured with fresh cranberries and orange marmalade and topped with a warm Butter Sauce.
As subscribers to my Newsletter already know, I’m celebrating cranberries this week, starting with this Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding! Cranberries are near and dear to my heart, not only because I love them, but because I live in cranberry country. Cranberries grow natively here and there is also a large commercial Cranberry Marsh nearby, so I have ready access to the freshest of cranberries every Fall.
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I paid a visit to the Cranberry Marsh a few weeks ago, just as the Fall harvest was beginning. For those that aren’t aware, cranberries grow on very low shrub-like bushes. They aren’t “picked” in the classical sense though. To harvest cranberries, the field is flooded and the berries are loosened from their bushes by agitating the water with a tractor fitted with a rotating rake. Once loosened, the cranberries float to the top and are skimmed off. It’s a unique process and great fun to witness.
Here are a few photos from my visit to the Cranberry Marsh …
Did you know? The cranberry harvester doesn’t float on top of the flooded fields (I always thought that!) It has tires and it actually drives on the ground. Although the field is flooded, it doesn’t need to be deep as the cranberry bushes are so low to the ground.
Did you know? Fall harvested cranberries are a very tart berry, but if you were to leave the cranberries on the bushes over the winter, by the Spring, they would be sweet! Of course, you’d have to fight off the bears and deer to get at them ;)
So obviously, I brought back a huge bag of fresh cranberries, which will keep me in cranberries for some time. One of the first things I baked up was this bread pudding. Cranberry and orange are a perfect combination and of course, bread pudding is classic comfort food.
This bread pudding is flavoured with orange marmalade. If you don’t have marmalade on hand, simply substitute a bit of orange juice and zest instead.
To top my bread pudding, I made an old fashioned Butter Sauce, made simply and quickly in a saucepan by warming together butter, sugar, cream and vanilla. It’s a delicious sweet complement to the tart cranberry and orange flavours.
Did you know? Cranberries freeze beautifully. They don’t need any pre-freezer preparation. Just pop the cranberries into a freezer bag and enjoy them from the freezer for up to a year!
Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding with Warm Butter Sauce
- 1/2 in day old baguette, cut in to cubes (if bread is fresh, toast cubes in 350oven for 5-7 minutes to dry)
- 1 cup half & half cream (10%)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/2 Tbsp orange marmalade (or orange juice/zest)
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
Cut bread in to cubes and place in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half & half, cream, vanilla, eggs and sugar. Pour over cubed bread. Allow to stand at least 30 minutes and up to an hour, stirring a couple times while it stands.
Preheat oven to 350 Prepare serving dish (or disheby greasing and placing on a baking sheet (to catch any boil overs).
Add cranberries and marmalade to bread/cream mixture and stir well to combine. Using a slotted spoon, spoon bread in to serving dish (or dishes). (*I like to extend the bread above the edge of the dish, as I like the crispy bits at the top in addition to the creamy bottom.) Pour remaining liquid over-top, allowing at least 1/4-1/3 inch at the top of the dish.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean (*check at the 40 minute mark and cover loosely with aluminum foil if tops are already golden enough).
Meanwhile, prepare Butter Sauce by combining all ingredients except the vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring regularly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
Serve with warm Butter Sauce.