To quote the recording artist Nelly, “it’s getting hot in herre.” But actually — sorry to disappoint you — I’m not going to take off all my clothes. Instead, what I will do is whip up some of my delicious, decadent Berry Bread Pudding with Luscious Lemon Custard. It’s a sumptuous summer treat that will have you cooled off and swooning in taste-bud satisfaction.
Berry Bread Pudding with Luscious Lemon Custard
Yields 12 servings
This no-bake treat will make you feel really classy because it comes all the way from merry old England. It’s an old-fashioned dessert that just happens to be naturally vegan. I like to doll it up with a creamy lemon custard and serve it up with a British accent like the royal queen that I am.
For the bread pudding
1 loaf of French round bread (also known as a “boule”), crusts removed
1 3/4 cup blueberries
1 1/4 cup raspberries
2 cups strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the custard
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cut the bread into ½-inch-thick slices and use it to line the sides and bottom of a 1½-quart bowl (about 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep). Reserve enough bread to cover the top.
Put berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries’ juices are set free, about 8 minutes.
Put the berries in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and drain for about 10 minutes. Set the juice aside and transfer the fruit to the bread-lined bowl. Cover the fruit with the reserved bread slices.
Pour the reserved berry juice over the bread, until all the bread is saturated, purple-pink, and ever-so-pretty.
Cover the bread pudding with a piece of wax paper and place a plate over the wax paper. Put a 1-pound weight on top of the plate and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
While the bread pudding sets, prepare the luscious lemon custard.
Process the cashews in a blender on high speed until finely ground. Add the nondairy milk and blend for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar, nutritional yeast, and vanilla extract and blend until well combined, about 1 minute.
Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high head while gently stirring with a wire whisk until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a container, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Back to the bread pudding! Remove the weight, the plate, and the wax paper. Put a platter upside down over the bowl and then flip the bowl over onto the platter. Gently remove the bowl, unmolding the bread pudding.
Serve slices of bread pudding with a generous dollop of Luscious Lemon Custard and serve it up like the royal queen that you truly are.