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Cheesecake Bread Pudding

This came about when I was preparing to have a book signing at Octavia Books, and was asked to bring along something delicious to serve the customers. I hadn’t decided what that would be when the idea came to me in the shower that morning. It’s simple enough: the usual custard in which the stale French bread is soaked has some aspects (cream cheese, mostly) of a cheesecake filling. The second time around, I used Creole cream cheese, too, and that made it even better. Everything else is like a standard New Orleans bread pudding.

CheesecakeBreadPudding

  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese or Creole cream cheese, or any combination of the two
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 18 eggs
  • 1 1/2 quarts half-and-half (or whole milk, if you prefer)
  • 4 Tbs. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Zest (grated peel) of one orange
  • 2 Tbs. cinnamon
  • 1 loaf stale poor boy bread
  • 1 cup white raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

1. Put the cream cheese and the sugar into the bowl of a mixer and blend on medium-slow speed until completely blended and fluffy–about 10 minutes.

2. Add the sour cream to the mixer bowl. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl after this and each other ingredient addition throughout the recipe.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing them to blend in completely before adding the next one. (Break each egg into a cup first to make sure it’s okay before you add it.)

4. Add the half-and-half, the vanilla, the orange juices, and the zest. Mix for another five minutes or so.

5. Slice the bread about an inch thick. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, and make a shingled layer of the bread slices along the bottom and up the sides. Dust liberally with cinnamon. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Pour about a third of the custard over the bread, enough to soak it and leave some liquid in the gaps.

6. Repeat the above step twice, to make three or layers. Make sure the bread is well soaked. Leave out some of the bread if necessary to make sure all the bread you use is very wet with custard.

7. Set the baking dish in a pan of warm water, and bake in the preheated 300-degree oven for about an hour and a half. Remove and cool until lukewarm.

The pudding can be served warm, at room temperature, or even ice-cold (the latter is good for breakfast).

Serves about twelve.

4 Readers Commented

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  1. Bill Barnes on November 15, 2015

    Tom,
    I thought this looked good so I picked up the ingredients and tried it. I readily admit that I am a novice baker but I can’t see any way that this quantity of ingredients can possibly fit into a 13X9 baking dish. I ended up with a huge batche of custard completely filling the first baking dish and then a second loaf of bread in an even bigger baking dish with the rest.
    Have I done something wrong, or are the quantities wrong, or what?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on November 22, 2015

      You’re right. I have enough filling for a deep cheesecake and a deep bread pudding. (I did it originally for a large banquet. Too much otherwise. I will reworkthis in a day or two. Means I’ll have a bread pudding bread pudding for Thanksgiving. Not a bad thing,

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris
      .

  2. Bill Barnes on December 5, 2015

    Thanks Tom. I will add that it was delicious, even though I had enough to feed an auditorium.

  3. Diane Stevens on December 19, 2015

    How do you cut down this recipe to feed just a family of 6?

    Thanks.

    TOMMENT:
    I’m sorry about that. . . I have 25-35 people over here and make both a cheesecake and a bread pudding, them put the two together. I”ll work up a formula for a smaller quantity. In the meantime, you’re safe in cutting all the ingredients by half.

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