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Cravings

Bread Pudding Is Back

An old-fashioned classic gets a makeover.

(Photograph by Wendy Maeda)
January 18, 2009
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THE BEST: Vermont maple bread pudding $8, Union Bar and Grille

We like our bread pudding just like Chef Stephen Sherman's steaming hot maple-infused brioche version: custardy, multi-textured, and chock-full of flavor. You can really taste and smell the pure Vermont maple syrup. But the real proof of Sherman's concoction is in the pudding. The shimmering pudding comes with a scoop of in-house vanilla bean ice cream and crunchy walnut praline streusel, plus another zap of maple syrup on top for good measure. Bottom line On a cold winter's night, you'll dream about this soul-satisfying dessert.

Caramelized Apple Bread Pudding $10.95, Stephanie's on Newbury

Cozy up to Stephanie's inviting fireplace, plop down in an armchair, and dig into a plate of the restaurant's rich, dense apple bread pudding. It's loaded with slightly tart Granny Smiths, studded with raisins, oozing with caramel sauce, and sweetened by ice cream. The pudding, served warm, tastes like a cross between apple pie and kugel but stands on its own as classy comfort food. Bottom line Big flavors, big portions. You can easily share a serving and the check.

Homemade Banana Bread Pudding $6, Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen is the real deal -- a friendly neighborhood pub with good upscale food. But it also pays tribute to homey favorites. The popular bread pudding, which chef-owner Mark Romano brought with him from the Green Street Grill, is made from house-baked banana bread (the banana slices add natural sweetness) combined with custard, simmered in a water bath, and served warm with caramel sauce and Christina's vanilla-bean ice cream. Bottom line Tunes from the funky jukebox set the mood for the retro pudding. -- Carol Kort

UNION BAR AND GRILLE 1357 Washington Street, Boston, 617-423-0555, unionrestaurant.com STEPHANIE'S ON NEWBURY 190 Newbury Street, Boston, 617-236-0990, stephaniesonnewbury.comHIGHLAND KITCHEN 150 Highland Avenue, Somerville, 617-625-1131, myspace.com/highlandkitchen

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