Mmmmmm. Did someone say Bread Pudding? Comfort food at its finest if you ask me. It is enjoyed all over the world with each country putting its own special spin on it. Like in Canada it is often made with maple syrup and in Puerto Rico you will find it with coconut milk and a rum guava sauce. So for St. Patrick’s Day I thought this Irish Whiskey Marmalade Bread Pudding would be perfection!
Bread Pudding started out as a pretty rustic dish and folks have been enjoying it for some time. It can be traced all the way back to the 11th century. It was a pretty frugal dish, made to use up bread that was going stale. In 13th century England it was referred to as ‘poor man’s pudding”. How far it has come. Not so humble anymore you can find it offered up in some of the most posh and trendy restaurants.
A couple of years ago I shared a recipe for Irish Whiskey Marmalade. I thought the bright citrus goodness of that marmalade would be a perfect complement to my pudding. I originally got this award winning Irish Whiskey Marmalade recipe from my friend Theresa’s cookbook Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey.
Theresa and I met in college when she was finishing up her degree in botany. After college, Theresa moved back to rural County Limerick and started her own business, The Green Apron, which is an artisan preserve company. Theresa grows much of the fruit and vegetables she uses in her preserves at her family’s orchards at Derryclough and in the walled vegetable garden at her parents 18th Century castle, Glenwilliam.
Her award-winning preserves are made in small batches by traditional methods using locally sourced, organic produce where possible and without artificial preservatives, colours or setting agents. The Green Apron has won 15 Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, 7 International Great Taste awards and is listed not only in McKenna’s Guide, but also in Georgina Campbell’s Guide. The Green Apron is also now offering workshops on sustainable living, preserving and bee keeping.
But let me get back to today’s recipe. The Irish Whiskey Marmalade I made to brighten my bread pudding is a three fruit marmalade consisting of grapefruit, oranges and lemons and a good glug of Irish Whiskey. It is one of The Green Apron’s best-selling jams and won a bronze Blas na h’Eireann (Taste of Ireland Competition) in 2015. I have included the recipe for it which makes about 5 pints. That is quite a bit more than you need for this recipe. But I will say, it is amazing stuff. You will be delighted to have extra on hand. I have used it to enhance other dishes in the past such as these Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts
as well as this Irish Whiskey Marmalade Cocktail
And this scrumptious Batley Cake
Great recipes to be sure and this Bread Pudding is right at home with them. So warming, cozy and comforting and a bit boozy I must say with the whiskey in the marmalade and well as the pudding. The bright citrus flourish will remind you that Spring is right around the corner. Serve it warm with some whipped cream or ice cream. But I’ve got to tell you, this Irish Whiskey Marmalade Bread Pudding is so delicious it stands fine all on its own.
Irish Whiskey Marmalade Bread Pudding
- 6 – 8 slices of day old bread (I used challah, brioche would also be great, or plain white bread)
- 50 grams butter, room temperature
- 4 – 6 Tablespoon Irish Whiskey Marmalade (recipe noted below)
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 50 ml milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 4 Tablespoons demerara sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Irish Whiskey
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting over top
Preheat the oven to 325° F (160° C)
Butter the bread on both sides. Spread half of the pieces with marmalade. Cover with the remaining slices of bread to make marmalade sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches into quarters or halves depending on the bread size and your chosen baking dish and arrange them in the dish. I used an oval casserole measuring about 10″ x 8″. A 9″x 9″ would also work well.
Combine the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar and whiskey. Pour the mixture over the marmalade sandwiches. Set aside for 30 minutes or so to allow the bread to absorb all of that goodness.
Dot the remaining marmalade over the top of the bread. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until set. Remove from oven and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream or simply plain.
For the Irish Whiskey Marmalade:
- 1 ruby grapefruit
- 2 medium sweet oranges
- 4 lemons
- 3.4 kg (6 pints) water
- 2.7 kg (6 lbs) sugar
- 60 ml (2 fl. oz.) good Irish Whiskey
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (Please note, mixed spice is different from all-spice. Mixed spice, sometimes also called pudding spice is a British spice similar to pumpkin pie spice, containing cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I have a link for it below, or hereis a recipe for it.)
Place a saucer into the refrigerator to chill.
Wash the grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Remove any blemishes from the skin and cut them into quarters. Place in the food processor and process on high speed until the peel is reduced to 6-mm (1/4″) pieces. If you like a bigger peel in your marmalade, don’t process it for so long, and if you like very little peel, process it for longer.
Put the processed citrus in a preserving pot with the water, stir well and cook on a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the peel is cooked and smooshes to wee pieces between your fingers. This usually takes an hour.
Add the sugar, stir well and cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade reaches setting point, with a marmalade this usually takes 20 -40 minutes.
Spoon a little of the boiling preserve onto the cold saucer. Let it cool and then push it with your finger. If it has reached setting point, the top of the blob of marmalade will wrinkle. Marmalades should have wrinkles at least 2 -3 mm hight.
Remove from heat. Skim off any seeds and sugar foam.
Add 60 ml (2 fl oz) of good Irish Whiskey and 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice.
Pour into warm sterilized jars to within 6 mm (1/4″) of the top. Wipe any drips off the rims of the jars to make sure there is a good seal between the jar and lid. A dampened paper towel works well for this. Place the lids on and seal.
Irish Whiskey Marmalade Bread Pudding brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links for helpful kitchen tools & ingredients for Irish Whiskey Marmalade Bread Pudding:
Folláin Irish Whiskey Marmalade – If you don’t have the time to make up a batch of marmalade before St. Patrick’s Day, nor can you travel to the Limerick Milk Market to buy a jar from The Green Apron, here is an option for Irish Whiskey Marmalade that will show up on your doorstep!