Poutinga is the Greek answer to bread pudding. My take on Poutinga inspired by the Corfu (most common) version. Other versions can be found from Santorini.
It used to be that regional dishes of Greece were only to be found in it’s area of origin but in this day & age, word travels fast, distances shortened, more travel, more exchange of info and ideas.
During my vacation to Greece this past summer, I noticed how much in common Greeks from all regions have (despite our marginal tribalism) and it was interesting to see regional dishes enjoyed throughout Greece.
Poutinga was one of those dishes. Again, this is a Greek ode to bread pudding and it adheres to the Greek cooking philosophy of wasting nothing/utilizing everything.
Poutingas get the best results from using stale/old bread. Nothing as dry as Croutons but day-old kinda stuff works best. You see, you want the bread to suck up as much of the egg and milk mixture as possible.
On this occasion, I used some Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread) found languishing in the bottom of the freezer. Waste not not- want not. chopped nuts, dried fruits, preserves all are represented in a Poutinga.
I used walnuts, dried currants and black cherry preserve (Vissino) for this Poutinga. Some tang is added with some orange zest and and glaze of apricot jam to provide some yang to the Poutinga’s sweet yin.
Poutinga (Î Î¿Ï…Ï„Î¯Î³ÎºÎ±)
butter to grease the oven-proof pan (like a loaf pan or something else of similar size)
1 cup of sugar
6-8 slices of day-old bread (I used Tsoureki)
3 cups of milk
1 Tbsp. of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups of dried currants (or raisins)
approx. 20 preserved black cherries (Vissino)
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup of apricot jam
juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Grease your baking vessel with butter and then sprinkle and line the bottom and sides with sugar. Set aside.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the milk, sugar, orange zest and vanilla and beat until well-incorporated.
- Dunk your slices of bread in the egg/milk mixture and begin layering the soaked bread followed by a topping of currants, black cherries and half the walnuts (3/4 cup). Repeat by alternating soaked bread and then fruit (currants and black cherries) and nuts.
- Pour any remaining liquid over your layers and sprinkle the top with some sugar.
- Place your baking vessel in a “bain-marie” with the hot water two-thirds of the way up and bake in your pre-heated oven for about one hour.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, add your apricot jam and lemon juice in a small pot and heat-up until just hot and incorporated. CarefullyÂ turn the Poutinga out of the baking vessel and onto a plate.
- Cover with the hot jam and then sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped walnuts.
- Serve a slice of the Poutinga with some apricot sauce that’s pooled around the dessert.
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