- ABOUT US
Megan Rossman, Associate Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
By Megan Rossman
April 19, 2012
My first memories of bread pudding are not good ones. When I was young, my mom would sometimes toss bread, milk, and a little sugar into a pan and bake it in the oven after dinner. It was a fairly healthy dessert, and, I quickly learned, a crushing disappointment for a child born under the reign of high-fructose corn syrup. For many years, the words bread pudding were synonymous with no thanks.
It wasn’t until a decade later that I consumed a version I actually enjoyed. I don’t remember where, I don’t remember when, I just remember that, at some point, I recognized bread pudding as something better than a failed attempt at food worth digesting. As it turns out, the trick to good bread pudding, and most dessert, is copious amounts of fat and sugar.
If you want to taste bread pudding done the right way, check out POPS in Arcadia (660 West Highway 66, 877/266-7677 or route66.com). This Route 66 stop featured in May/June’s “The Motorcycle Diaries” serves a mighty fine version made with root beer syrup—an ingredient you can purchase online or anywhere artisan syrups are sold.
It is my pleasure to share with you, dear reader, the recipe for this culinary delight. I would like to thank POPS for being kind enough to provide it. Please bear in mind, this recipe is made for a restaurant kitchen. Unless you’ve got a gang to feed, you’ll probably want to halve the recipe and use a smaller pan.
POPS Root Beer Bread Pudding
Yields 1 full pan at 24 orders (6x4)
5 loaves Texas toast (cubed)
5 T vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup root beer syrup
13 cups heavy cream
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 ¼ cups raisins
3 cups brown sugar (for crust)
Spray the inside of deep hotel pan (12x20 inches) with pan spray. Mix the eggs, vanilla, root beer syrup, cream, sugar, and raisins in a large bowl. Add the cubed Texas toast and mix just until incorporated. Transfer to the hotel pan. Top with the brown sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Glaze for Bread Pudding: yields 3 ¼ quarts
6 ounces butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
9 cups heavy cream
1 cup root beer syrup
Melt butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Whisk until smooth and
simmering. Add the cream and root beer syrup and allow to reduce by a third (15 minutes).