It’s been a while since I have used my slow cooker and even longer since I have used it to make dessert but recently I decided to dust it off to make a bread pudding, well, not just any bread pudding, but a Banana Bread Pudding. If you’re not a fan of banana flavored desserts don’t worry, the banana flavor is not overpowering.
I did some prep work the night before. I cut a loaf of Challah bread into cubes and then toasted them in the oven for 20 minutes at 300 F. While the bread was in the oven I generously greased the inside of my slow cooker insert with softened butter. The recipe called for one tablespoon, but, I ended up using about 4 tablespoons. I have “baked” things in my slow cooker in the past and regardless of me following the directions to a T my items have always been burnt. I’ve chalked it up to not using enough butter and I didn’t want that to happen again.
After removing the bread from the oven I let it cool for a few minutes and then placed it in an even layer inside of my slow cooker insert.
In a large bowl I combined the ingredients for the custard – eggs, half-and-half, granulated & brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and mashed bananas – and whisked them together until they were combined. I then poured this mixture over the bread in the insert and pressed the bread into the liquid to submerge it. I covered it and then refrigerated it overnight.
The next morning I removed it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes uncovered.
After the 30 minutes I placed the insert inside of the slow cooker base, covered it and cooked it on the low setting for about 4 ½ hours. The bread pudding will rise considerably while it’s cooking, mine almost touched the cover.
Once the bread pudding was done I removed the insert and let the bread pudding cool before inverting it onto a dish.
I attempted to make a caramel sauce to go along with the bread pudding but I had two failed attempts. The first time my caramel had a burnt taste to it and the second time my sugar never melted. So, I decided to nix the caramel sauce and just enjoy a piece with vanilla ice cream. Which was just perfect.
The was by far the best bread pudding I have ever made and I will definitely be making it again.
Slow Cooker Banana Bread Pudding
1 16 oz. Challah Bread, cut into cubes
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 large eggs
4 cups half-and-half (1 quart)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
vanilla ice cream and/or caramel sauce for serving
Preheat the oven to 300 F
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring them halfway through toasting. Let them cool for 10 minutes.
Grease the insert of your slow cooker with the softened butter.
Once the bread is cool, transfer it to the slow cooker and arrange in an even layer.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and then add in the half-and-half, both sugars, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and mashed bananas. Whisk everything together to combine.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread and press the bread to submerge it into the liquid. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator, uncover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place the insert into the base of your slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on low 4 to 5 hours. The bread pudding is ready when it is set and not jiggly in the center. The internal temperature should be above 175 F when tested. It will be considerably puffy, but will subside as it cools.
Remover the insert from the base and let the bread pudding cool for about 15 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Alternatively, you could just serve it from the insert itself.
Enjoy with ice cream and/or caramel sauce.
Recipe slightly modified from Simply Recipes