I don't often have dessert...well, except for the six counted out dark chocolate covered almonds which seem to satisfy me more often than not. But, every now and then.....
Almond Bread Pudding of the Gods
(for those that are interested in the calories of this sort of thing, click here.)
3 1/2 cups of milk - do not use fat free milk. You can use 2%. I bet it's even more awesome with whole milk.
1/2 cup butter - plus some extra to butter the casserole dish
Enough cubed day old bread to equal about 3 cups unpacked or 2 cups packed. Get a loaf of Italian or French bread and cube about half of it. Don't make this with regular old sandwich bread.
3/4 cups of sugar
3 eggs, beaten - I love Country Hen eggs. They raise happy hens under humane conditions with good non-cannibal food and their yolks are always awesome - big, no I mean huge, and a gorgeous dark orange.
1 overflowing teaspoon of the best vanilla you can afford.
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mace
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup raisins - or you could use currents which are like teensy tiny raisins.
1 cup blanched slivered or chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 375 and butter up the standard 2 quart casserole dish.
Scald the milk and add the butter. Place the bread in a large bowl and pour the buttery milk all over the bread and allow to soak for a good 7-10 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients. If you have old raisins and they are dry, soak them in a bit of warm water and then drain to plump them a bit. Mix everything well and dump it all into the buttered casserole dish. Place this dish in a large (like 8-11) pan of hot water and then put the double panned deliciousness into the oven for about an hour. Depending on your oven and if you remembered that the water must be hot, it may take a little longer to cook, so use the old timey test of inserting a knife in the center of the pudding. If it comes out clean, it's done. If it comes out with gooey stuff on it, it's not done.
Allow to sit a few minutes and then serve either as is or for an intensely mindful experience, add some of that wonderful Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and savor each bite - after all, you don't have dessert very often, so when you do, make it a gloriously mindful time. Enjoy!