Tomato Bread Pudding Recipe

April 15 2009 - 6:28 AM

Among the other things I did while in D.C., I was lucky enough to attend the annual Culinary Historians of Washington potluck. This year's potluck was themed "Presidential Favorites," so we were treated to a wide array of historically notable dishes. These ranged from the familiar macaroni and cheese (served at Jefferson’s inauguration, and considered quite fashionable at the time), to more exotic items like pickled watermelon and Harrison-era sliced tongue. There was a White House garden-inspired violet soup, garnished with freshly picked violets, and a Johnson-era canapé “cake” constructed of hors d’oeuvres on toothpicks. President Obama’s affinity for Mexican foods was celebrated with pork loin and homemade molé sauce. Amy Carter’s favorite peanut butter cookies were available, and a veal & bacon pie modeled after Martha Washington’s recipe was on display.

One of my favorite dishes was Mamie Eisenhower's Tomato Bread Pudding, a lightly sweetened concoction of bread and tomato sauce. Curious, I looked up the recipe upon returning to Chicago, and was delighted to find it requires only a handful of ingredients.

Adapted from CDKitchen

1 24 or 29 oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water (microwave for 90 seconds)
8 slices of bread (I used a nutty 12-grain)
1 tablespoon butter

Combine the first four ingredients (through water). In a 2-quart casserole dish, cube the bread and dice butter over the top. Pour the tomato sauce over the bread. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

I used a 29 oz can of tomato sauce, and the bread pudding turned out a bit mushier than I would have preferred, so next time I intend to cut down on the sauce.