22 October 2009

Vegan Bread Pudding - Quick & Easy

The summer has seen a lot of canning, juicing and jam making. One of my interesting discoveries was Pomona's Universal Pectin. Unlike most pectin, which requires a large amount of sugar to set, Pomona's uses a calcium water to set the pectin, virtually freeing you completely from sugar and allowing any sweetener you wish, in any amount. It's amazing and works great. I'll never go back to normal pectin.

While looking at some of the Pomona recipes on their web site, I noticed that they had a recipe for setting milk directly into a pudding using Pomona pectin. I emailed for more info, and then decided this might be a simple way to make non-dairy bread pudding. Normal bread pudding sets a custard made of dairy and egg, but using Pomona's neither of those are required.

This bread pudding is not only incredibly simple, it tastes great. I used banana because that's what was on hand, but you could use raisins, sauteed apples, blueberries (my next attempt) or whatever you wish. The amount of sweetener is also completely variable. You could also dot the top of the pudding with more Earth Balance is you wanted a richer taste and browner top. Or leave out the sugar and make a savory bread pudding. Technically, you don't even need the bread in this... So, experimentation is the order of the day.

Vegan Bread Pudding

2 c soy or almond milk
3/4 c raw sugar - divided
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground wattleseed (optional)
1 banana - mashed
3 c dried torn (vegan) bread
1 tsp Pomona Pectin calcium water
1 tsp Pomona pectin
1/4 c Earth Balance vegan 'butter'

Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray
Mix the Pomona pectin in a small dish with half the sugar and set aside
Add the soy milk to a saucepan and add the calcium water
Slowly bring the soy milk almost to a boil.
Add the sugar without the pectin and stir til dissolved
Add the sugar-pectin combination and whisk to get pectin dissolved evenly without lumps.
Add Earth Balance and stir briefly to start it melting
Remove from heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl - mash the banana
Add vanilla and spices to the banana and mix.
Add the soy milk mixture to the bowl and whisk together.
Add the bread pieces and mix well.
Scrape bread mixture into your prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes.

Serve with Soyatoo 'whipped cream' on top.

Note - the bread pudding will set up even without baking. The baking is not to cook the custard liquid but to brown the bread tips on top.

Pomona's Universal Pectin can be ordered directly from the manufacturer at www.pomonapectin.com

For a variation, you can leave out the banana and mix in 1/2 - 2/3 cup frozen blueberries right before baking.

revised 26-10-09

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