Spending a four day weekend on Marthas Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts, is always delightful. On a sparkling cool and beautiful October weekend, surrounded by your best friends, it’s nearly perfect.
I always am the one who does the cooking, and somehow I know you won’t be surprised to hear that. And while this past weekend had many culinary high points (boudin blanc, chicken and dumplings, spaghetti carbonara), the one dish I’m not likely to forget soon was made on a whim, simply because I hate waste.
Cider doughnuts are a New England fall staple. In my memory, they’re served on a chilly morning, as you set off to pick apples at an orchard or decide on your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern at a pumpkin patch. There’s really nothing like them, and they’re best warm. And exceptionally fresh.
And that’s where the problem started. You see, we went to a farm stand to pick up produce for the weekend, and there was a bag of six cider doughnuts. They weren’t warm. They were packaged up. But there was nothing I could do to ignore that siren call.
Of course, I immediately regretted the purchase. Dry and stale. But the flavor was there and it was good. The next day, with a few basic staples, I pulled together this delicious dessert.
Cider Doughnut Bread Pudding
Makes one loaf pan
Six cider doughnuts
4 large eggs
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c whole milk
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 c prunes, plumped and chopped coarsely
Generously butter a loaf pan.
Whisk together eggs, cream, milk and spices
Chop the doughnuts up into large pieces
Soak the doughnuts in the egg mixture while oven preheats to 350°
Stir in the prunes.
Press the mixture into the loaf pan and bake, uncovered for about an hour.
Serve slightly warm, with vanilla ice cream.
Can’t find cider doughnuts? Substitute old fashioned doughnuts and substitute 1 c diced, peeled apple for the prune, and add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 c sugar to the egg mixture.