Monday, September 13, 2010

Joey's Peach Blueberry Bagel Pudding

OK, so, true story....
I recently saw my niece, Terri, who had just been to a farm market. She's become quite the pie maker lately and she had tons of fresh peaches. As soon as she offered to share, I said "Are you kidding? I LOVE peaches!" Thanx Ter!
 Hmm...What shall I make? So off to grocery store I went, just to see what looked good. I happened to see my friend Laura, who works in the produce section. I told her I wanted to do something with peaches, but I didn't want to do just a regular Peach Pie. How about a Peach Cobbler? Nope, already did that. Peach Cake? Nope, already did that too. As soon as she suggested making a bread pudding, I knew that this was the answer. Ooo maybe I'll add some blueberries to it. YUM! Thanx Laura!
So I made it. It was REALLY yummy, (as Daniel Boone and the group from Hat Night will attest) but I wanted to tweak the recipe just a little more. The first thing I wanted to change was the bread. I used a loaf of Italian bread, which was fine, but it still didn't hit the mark for me. Then I thought of using blueberry BAGELS instead. This was the AHA! moment. It would no longer just be a bread pudding, it would now become a BAGEL pudding! Isn't that fun? Next, I decided to add more custard to it, because I like a wetter bread pudding. (Marie agrees that a more puddingy pudding is the way to go. Is that a word? Puddingy? Well, you get the idea.) Anyway, I finished tweaking a couple other parts of the recipe, spices and things, and here we are! It's delicious and warm and comforting and just wait'll you try it. It's sheer heaven on a plate!
I know you'll love it!

4 medium peaches, pitted, peeled, sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, or more
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbs flour
tiny pinch of salt

4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, or more
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk
6 tbs butter
2 cups (1 pint) half and half
4 large blueberry bagels, preferably stale

In a small mixing bowl, gently toss together the peaches, blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the milk. Remove from heat. Stir in the half and half. Add to egg mixture and stir well. Cut bagels into small one-inch cubes. Add to large mixing bowl and toss to coat with the custard mixture. After the bagels absorb a lot of the custard mixture, add the fruit mixture and gently toss everything together. Be careful not to muddle the fruit too much. Pour into a lightly buttered 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with a little more cinnamon or cinnamon sugar, if desired. Let it sit for a while until all of the custard liquid has been absorbed by the bagels. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that it has a chance to set up. Serve warm with vanilla sauce.

Vanilla Sauce:
1 cup whole milk
2 tbs butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbs flour
pinch salt

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients.
Continue to stir until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour over warm pudding.

-If your bagels aren't stale, cut them up as directed, place them on a baking sheet, and bake in a 350F oven until they crisp up like croutons. This helps them to absorb the custard more easily.
-You can never have too much cinnamon.
- This can be made and assembled up to a day in advance, and then baked right before you're ready to serve.
-Of course, you can vary the recipe as much as you like. Use different kinds of bagels and/or fruit. Cinnamon raisin bagels with bananas would be heavenly!

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