Imagine if Key Lime Pie and Bread Pudding had a love child, a really citrusy, decadent, refreshing love child. Meet Key Lime Bread Pudding!
That being said, I was never a fan of bread pudding as a kid. Growing up in Cuba they made it with Caramel (which had a bitter flavor) and raisins (what kid is a fan of raisins???). It wasn’t until last year that I gave the dessert a try when I started doing Pop-ups. I was looking for a dessert that carried a rich flavor and some comforting finish to the meal.
Bread pudding is essentially using old dry bread (it absorbs the custard better) and basting it in a custard of milk, eggs, and vanilla. Everything else that you add to it for flavor and texture goes. Coconut Flakes, Almonds, pistachios, chocolate, white chocolate, bourbon, molasses…..the list goes on. Its an incredibly versatile dessert that carries a lot of rich flavors without being fussy.
Its been a traditional mainstay in Cuban Cuisine since I can remember. But my biggest complaint was the richness. It needed something tart or acidic to really lighten it up.
Cue Key Lime Pie!
Key Lime Pie has a beautiful tangy acidity that makes your mouth water at the first bite. Its so tart! All the limes that go into it just come together beautifully. By itself, it’s too dense to eat a lot of it. Even though its so good! But makes for a fantastic tropical dessert.
So we mix the two!
And we get Key Lime Bread Pudding! Ta-da! I’ve been developing this recipe for about 6 months now, tweaking components to brighten the bread pudding base while keeping the other textures and flavors balanced. The end result is a warm honey vanilla bread pudding that’s lightened Citrus flavors in the Key Lime Cream and Clementine Marmalade. The Final component is red grapefruit, which adds a hint of bitterness and acidity to balance out sweet and richness of the bread custard. Its a very cool interpretation of the traditional bread pudding and a fusion between the two classical desserts in Floribbean Cuisine. Its become a new favorite!
For the Key Lime Cream:
- Sweetened Condensed Milk 14 oz
- Lime Juice 3 limes
- Lime Zest 3 limes
Mix together the zest, and juice of the 3 limes. It will be very tangy!
For the Clementine Marmalade:
- 3 clementines (no seeds)
- 1 sprig tarragon
- 1 cup sugar
In a food processor with a grater attachment grate the clementines whole. Skin and everything. In a saucepan, add the mixture and the sugar and tarragon leaves. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and let cool. The natural pectin in the clementines will solidify the marmalade. It will taste citrusy with a little bit of licorice from the tarragon.
Plate the bread pudding in a bowl or ramekin, spoon bits of the Key Lime Cream over it in various places and do the same with the Clementine Marmalade. Garnish with Grapefruit.
These are the tools I used to make the recipe, these are products I own and recommend as very useful to get the exact results.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links for the products that we use.
- 12 oz bread: about half a loaf
- 2 tbsp butter
- 16 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbst vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Shot dark rum
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz nuts almonds, cashews, or Pistachios
- Clementine Marmalade
- Key Lime Cream
- Layer bread in a buttered roasting pan
- In a saucepot add heavy cream, vanilla extract, salt, butter, and the dark rum
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cool, at around 100 degrees f. Add the eggs and whisk one at a time.
- Once incorporated, ladle the mixture on top of the bread until its absorbed all of it. Add milk if its too thick.
- Bake for 45 minutes in the oven at 350
- Take out of the oven, sprinkle honey and nuts over the bread puddin. Return to the over for 5 minutes.