As I went on my long walk this morning, I couldn't help but notice the telltale signs of summer coming to an end. Fall is right around the corner. The aspen trees around the neighborhood have begun to change colors. My mums are blooming and this year the sedum plants are starting their "blush" earlier than usual. Perhaps we're poised for another long cold, snowy winter. It's almost time for heartier soups and stews, but until the snow flies, I refuse to give up those tropical summer flavors.
I'm a big fan of bread pudding and have a few recipes up my sleeve for the colder months. Bread pudding is one of those comfort foods like mac and cheese and heartier soups. To lighten this one up, I used pineapple, coconut milk and Hawaiian sweet bread as a base. It turned out surprisingly well!
4 cups Hawaiian sweet bread, cubed (You can use French bread, too)
2 cups cut up fresh pineapple
1/2 c lite coconut milk
1/4 c sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cardamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 c pecans
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350. (375 for high altitude)
In a large bowl add the bread, pineapple, coconut, sugar and coconut milk. Stir and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then add the cardamon, vanilla, and cinnamon to the beaten eggs in a separate small bowl. After stirring the egg mixture, add it to the bread mixture, add the nuts (optional) and pour it into an 11 x 7 glass pan that has been "pan sprayed". Sprinkle the brown sugar on top and bake until firm - about 45 minutes.