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Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding | CosmosMariners.com

I started my Tasty Travels series a while back with the best of intentions. But, as with most best laid plans, life got in the way, and my travel-themed recipe series faded into the background.

After a long hiatus, I'm excited to see if I can focus on the series again; and, to kick it off for the second time, I'm going to share one of the best dishes I've tasted in a long time: a Charleston recipe for old fashioned bread pudding. YUM!

Earlier this year, I had the change to go to the Historic Hotels of America luncheon at the Francis Marion Hotel here in Charleston, South Carolina.

I've worked with the organization many time before, and I'm always excited to get out and meet other people who love history and travel. In between several speed networking sessions, Chef Simon Andrews brought out a creative three course menu that took several classic Southern dishes and turned them on their heads.

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Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding | CosmosMariners.com

Even though I was stuffed to the point of needing to be rolled back to my car, I knew I had to take a few bites of the dessert when it came out in all of its buttery, carby, ice creamy goodness.

I'd never had old fashioned bread pudding before, and I was a little unsure of how stale bread could be reworked into a dessert. I shouldn't have been worried since the dish was indulgent in all of the best ways.

Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding | CosmosMariners.com
Don't you love that bowl?! It's giant, which makes it the perfect size for a dessert like this.
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What made the dessert even better was the fact that Chef Andrews had found it on one of the hotel's original menus, making this one of the classic Charleston recipes.

With a history stretching back to 1924, the Francis Marion Hotel has been one of the cornerstones of Charleston's hospitality industry long before the rest of the world discovered my sleepy hometown.

I took a photocopy of the original menu home with me since I can't resist something with that kind of history. It was fun to see that the menu from 1924 included a 3 course meal (including your choice of tea, coffee, or lemonade) for a whopping $1.50. If you weren't in the mood for the extravagantly priced filet mignon, you could spring for the chicken, short ribs, or the roast pork loin for only $0.85.

Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding | CosmosMariners.com

This version is a bit different than traditional bread and butter puddings, but this is one instance where change is for the better.

My husband deemed it the best version he'd ever had. It's definitely the best I've ever had (but it's also the only one I've ever had, so perhaps you should take my husband's word over mine here!).


Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Ingredients
12 cups loosely packed cubed white bread (Challah, Brioche, or French)*
1 qt. half and half
6 eggs beaten.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 TB butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, chopped + 1 cup, chopped, for topping
Caramel sauce

Directions
1) Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2) Whisk together half and half, eggs, sugars, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt.

3) Add bread and pecans to mixture, stir to combine. Continue to stir every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.

4) Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes uncovered. Bake an additional 15 minutes to brown top. The pudding is done when top is brown and springy, and the center is baked through.

5) Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Note: I used fresh bread and it worked just fine. You could also use stale bread if you've got a loaf hanging around.

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Have you ever made old fashioned bread pudding? What are your favorite Charleston recipes (pecan chicken, shrimp dip, or fried okra, perhaps?)?

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. 

Charleston Recipes: Old Fashioned Bread Pudding | CosmosMariners.com

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