Did you know blueberries are in season right now?
California Giant invited me to create a recipe featuring some of their beautiful blueberries. During the holidays, apples, cranberries, oranges, and pumpkins all have their moment in the spotlight, so I wanted to create a holiday-friendly recipe that was decadent, yet allowed the lovely blueberry to shine.
Plump and bursting with natural sweetness, blueberries are not only tasty, they are good for you. Chock full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber. Blueberries are also heart healthy by helping to lower cholesterol, and are recommended in fighting cancer and inflammation.
My husband and son, who would normally chose chocolate over fruit, tried the Blueberry Cheesecake Bread Pudding, and declared it the best dessert they’ve ever had! I don’t know if that’s true, as they’ve tried many delightful desserts, but without trying to brag, I think this is scrumptious, too. Creamy, with a light cheesecake taste, the blueberries in this bread pudding burst in your mouth with each bite!
- 2 (8 oz) Packages Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 c. Brown Sugar
- 1/2 c. White Sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 2 c. Half and Half
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 Loaf Challah or French Bread
- ¼ c. Butter, melted
- 3 (4.4 oz) Packages California Berry Giant Blueberries, washed and stemmed
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Fine Flour (Wondra)
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 c. Half & Half
- 1/4 c. Egg Nog
- 2 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract (Pure)
- *Butter (To grease the baking dish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend the cream cheese and sugars in a mixer until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each one in thoroughly. Slowly blend in the half and half, Vanilla, and Cinnamon. Butter a large baking dish. Cut the challah or French bread into medium bite-size cubes and place in a bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the bread cubes, and toss to coat.
Place the bread cubes into the baking dish. In a separate bowl toss the blueberries and (2 Tbsp) sugar together.
Spoon the blueberries over the top of the bread cubes. Pour in the cream cheese/egg mixture, and carefully push the bread cubes into the batter to soak. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake about 20-25 minutes more. While the bread pudding is baking, make the Egg Nog Vanilla Sauce.
Eggnog Vanilla Sauce
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and flour. Add the butter and heat over medium heat, until butter melts, stirring to make a roux. Add the half & half and egg nog, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so it does not burn. When it boils, reduce the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cook about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes. Stir in the egg yolk and whisk until thoroughly blended. Place back on medium low heat and simmer for about five minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When the bread pudding is finished baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Cut into pieces and drizzle the eggnog vanilla sauce over the top.
California Giant is offering their fans a wonderful promotion right now, called Blueberry Baking Bliss, to win a weekly baking prize pack. To find out more information and enter, visit their contest page. To find out more about California Giant Blueberries, visit their website. You can also find the on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: I received several packages of California Giant Blueberries to create my recipe, but this recipe and my opinions are 100% my own.