Happy June! Welcome to the COOK WITH ME section of my site. I like to tell people that I like cooking ALMOST as much as I like eating. This delicious, Blackberry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding is the perfect dessert for goat cheese lovers and those craving something comforting and slightly sweet.
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Location of the month: Oregon, USA
Recipe of the month: Blackberry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding
****Grab a delicious beverage to enjoy while you cook, mine today was the Snap Down India Pale Lager from Wasatch Brewing in Salt Lake City, UT. Come hungry as you COOK WITH ME. ♥
Why THIS Dish for the State of Oregon?
One of my favorite experiences in Oregon over the past few years has been spending time on my friend Susan’s goat farm, dubbed Goatlandia. I typically spend 3 months out of the year there with her and the farm… or really as much time as I can manage. This dish that I created is highly inspired by Susan and her home in Oregon.
Susan has taught me how to make bread, often waking up early and having loaves finished before I even rise. Yet still taking the time to explain the secrets of good sourdough, demonstrating the entire process to me, time and time again. The perfect thing to do with old bread? Make it into bread pudding.. something I have thoroughly enjoyed many times from Susan’s kitchen with phenomenal variations.
Blackberries are often viewed with disdain in Oregon, the plants consume land quickly and are hard to get rid of with their thorny vines. They are an often unwanted weed to locals, yet loved by myself. When they are in season, you can eat your weight’s worth of berries easily. I knew that I had to create a recipe using blackberries to represent Oregon.
Lastly, because of my personal experience on the goat farm, it is hard for me to think of Oregon and not to think of goat cheese. Lucky for us, this trinity of bread pudding, goat cheese, and blackberries join beautifully on the palate. Fun Fact: when I first met Susan I was a vegan, that all changed once I started eating goat cheese on her farm a few years ago.
How to Cook with Me
There is no shame in my kitchen. Feel free to switch out ingredients to things you have on hand, taking out what you don’t like, meeting your diet restrictions, or even completely playing with your own ideas. Cooking is both a science and an art- feel empowered to make it your own, and a mess.
Notes on Ingredients:
- Because this is an anarchy version of cooking that I encourage; all ingredients are optional. Add more or less as desired
- When measuring, don’t get too caught up.
- Feel free to use any fresh berries or even jams/preserves.
- Feel free to use any breads, pastries, etc; adjust sugar accordingly
Let’s Get Cooking:
Blackberry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding
- 10 cups Bread of Choice, cubed I prefer croissants, or whatever is around.
Blackberry & Goat Cheese Spread
- 1-2 pints Fresh Blackberries
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 5-12 ounces Soft Goat Cheese I used 10 oz
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 Eggs
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2-1/2 cups Milk
- 1 cup Half & Half or, sub more milk
- 1/2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 dash Salt
- Cinnamon/Nutmeg to taste, optional
- Start by preparing your blackberries by topping with 1/4 cup of sugar in large mixing bowl, to start breaking them down. Check back and stir them up as you continue
- Grease a 9x13 inch pan and chop your bread into 1/2" - 1" cubes until you have enough to fill the pan loosely to the top (about 10 cups but adjust as needed.)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Prepare the Blackberry and Goat Cheese Spread by adding the remaining ingredients and combining well either by spoon mixing (if you desire chunks of cheese and berries) or with a mixer (for a smoother texture.) Spread on top of the bread.
- Prepare the Egg Mixture by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisking together until combined. Slowly pour into the pan, using a spoon to poke holes through the Blackberry and Goat Cheese spread, allowing the mixture to seep through.
- Cook in the middle of the oven, until the custard starts to solidify and rise, about 50-60 minutes. Eat warm (great topped with a bit of half & half) or cooled.
What is your favorite bread pudding you have ever made or eaten?
Let me know in the comments below.
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