Two days after we moved her into her new condo, her shortness of breath was too much and I took her to the emergency room. Long story short, she has spent most of her time in Knoxville in the hospital, mainly because her carbon dioxide level is high because she can't exhaust it due to her deteriorated lung condition.
This is the reason for my absence over the holidays; I was devoting my time to my mother's care and well-being. My mom is still hanging in there, her mind as sharp as ever and in her condo with hospice care.
So I'm trying for now, little by little to get back into a routine. My wonderful husband and beautiful daughters have been a support and comfort system, way more than I ever could have imagined. Thank goodness for family and thank goodness for my friends and for my blogging buddies and friends; you give me so much strength.
I pulled out this Emeril Lagasse recipe I have been wanting to try for so long and I finally made it. A.J. who by the way is not a big fan of bread pudding, hurt himself on this dessert - he said it's the best rum sauce he's ever had. So if you want a comforting down home dessert but also want to change things up a bit, go for it! This is totally worth it!
6 slices white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 stick butter, melted
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum (I used Myer's Rum)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk, scalded
2 cups sliced canned peaches in heavy syrup, drained, liquid reserved
1 cup chopped or crushed canned pineapple in heavy syrup, drained, liquid reserved
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 thin slices
1 recipe Rum Creme Anglaise, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter in a large bowl, spread on a large baking sheet, and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 9 x 9 or 8 x 10 inch ovenproof baking and set aside.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, rum, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the syrup from both canned, drained fruits and whisk to combine.
Arrange the fruit over the toasted bread cubes. Pour the custard evenly over the mixture, dot with the sliced butter, and bake until the custard sets, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Spoon the pudding into bowls, ladle a couple of tablespoons of the rum sauce the pudding and serve.
Rum Creme Anglaise:
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups milk, scalded
1/4 cup dark rum (recommended Myer's Rum)
Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl and stir in the rum. Serve room temperature or chilled.