Ina Garten's Simple Trick For Topping Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of the easiest, most homey desserts you can make at home. It is the ultimate comfort food tasting of some of society's favorite ingredients: bread, butter, and sugar. If you didn't know, bread pudding is made from stale pieces soaked in a custard mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla to be baked in the oven until firm. There are many modern variations of the bread pudding recipe; some are savory like strata, and others involve dried fruit or chocolate (via Sunset).

According to Taste Cooking, the origins of bread pudding began in 11th or 12th century Europe when the poorer citizens of society were forced to reuse leftovers for their meals, leading them to soak their stale bread in hot liquid and sugar to make it more flavorful. Back then, they didn't have easy or affordable access to dairy products, so those came later. But thanks to modern advancements in food, we can now doll up our dessert any way we like and get creative with how we dress it.

You might have it in your freezer

Depending on what flavors you enjoy, there are a plethora of ways to spice up your bread pudding. That being said, Our Everyday Life claims that sweet bread puddings are often served with sugary sauces, either drizzled on top or off to the side. Some favorites include caramel, whipped cream, chocolates, liquors, and crème anglaise.

Ina Garten, the hostess of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network, cookbook writer, and much more, shares her bread pudding hacks with us. Garten likes to top her bread pudding with a crème anglaise which is traditionally a runny custard made of egg yolks, cream, sugar, and vanilla. But to complete her own rich and creamy bread pudding recipe, she takes a little shortcut. According to Garten, vanilla ice cream is basically frozen crème anglaise (via Youtube). 

So, all you have to do to have the perfect crème anglaise on-hand at home is to allow your vanilla ice cream to melt, then drizzle it around or on top of your warm bread pudding! But don't worry; if you like your ice cream the way it is, feel free to plop a scoop right on top of your piece of pudding and enjoy.