The flavors in this bread pudding are so special and unique that it’s one of my all-time favorite desserts. Almost like a sweet stuffing, leftover bread soaks up a saffron-spiked coconut custard laced with orange zest, vanilla and warming spices. Every bite is soft and gooey with a little crunch from the golden-brown top. Perfect for the holidays or another special occasion where you’re aiming to impress. If possible, use a loaf of high-quality vegan white sandwich bread that’s free of any preservatives and hasn’t been presliced. A local bakery or the bakery section of a grocery store is your best bet. Credit: Reprinted with permission from Fantastic Vegan Recipes for the Teen Cook by Elaine Skiadas. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Elaine Skiadas.
Orange Saffron Bread Pudding [Vegan]
Ingredients You Need for Orange Saffron Bread Pudding [Vegan]
- 2 (13.5-oz [400-ml]) cans full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (100 g) organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup (26 g) blanched almond flour
- 10 saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon (6 g) orange zest
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (18-oz [510-g]) loaf day-old vegan bread, cut into 1" (2.5-cm) cubes (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup (80 g) raisins
- 1/4 cup (56 g) melted vegan butter, divided
- Whipped coconut cream, for serving
- Orange marmalade for serving (optional)
How to Prepare Orange Saffron Bread Pudding [Vegan]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk and sugar over medium heat. Once the coconut milk has melted, whisk in the almond flour until smooth. Bring to a simmer, then take the pot off the heat.
- Place the saffron threads in a small bowl and use the back of a spoon to crush them into a fine powder. You can also use a mortar and pestle if you have it. Stir in a few spoonfuls of the warm coconut milk and set the saffron aside to steep until it turns bright yellow.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the saffron mixture into the saucepan (get every last drop!) along with the orange zest and juice, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the cubed bread and raisins in a casserole dish or Dutch oven and pour the liquid on top. Gently toss until all the bread is soaked through, then press everything into a packed, even layer. Drizzle with the melted vegan butter, reserving 1 tablespoon (15 g) for serving.
- Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and warm to the touch. Remove from the oven, pour the remaining vegan butter over all and let cool for 15 minutes before serving with dollops of whipped cream and orange marmalade, if desired.
Tip: To ensure the bread absorbs as much avor as possible, I like to spread out the cubes on a sheet pan and leave them to dry out on the counter for several hours or overnight.
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