Mason Jar Lunches (Ulysses Press, 2017) by Jessica Harlan reinvents meal prepping; she shows her readers how to use mason jars to pack healthy on-the-go meals in perfect portions. Harlan takes all of your favorite recipes and customizes them to fit into a fast-paced lifestyle with mason jars. The following excerpt is her recipe for bread pudding in a mason jar.
I’ve seen plenty of cute recipes where bread pudding or cakes are baked in the oven right in a mason jar. But I’m just not willing to risk it—the glass used to make these jars isn’t formulated to withstand the heat of an oven. But steam or boiling water is another story…. After all, that’s how you can the jam and other preserved foods that these jars were originally intended for! It’s essential to not skip the step of warming up the milk. It helps prevent thermal shock, which could cause the jars to break in the pot (trust me, I know from experience!).
• 1 egg
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
• 3 slices raisin bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 2 tablespoons prepared caramel, for serving
1. Add about an inch of water to a tall stockpot and place a steamer rack in the bottom. Heat the water to a simmer.
2. Heat the milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove until very warm, 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, then slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking to combine. Divide the raisin bread between the jars and pour the milk mixture over the bread, using the back of a spoon to pack the bread into the jar as needed. Loosely screw two-part metal lids onto the jar, but don’t tighten them. Put the jars on the steamer rack and put the lid on the pot. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
3. With tongs or a silicone oven mitt, carefully remove the jars from the pot. Slowly open the lids (be careful, the contents might puff out when the pressure is released) and check for doneness: The milk mixture should be thick and custardy and the bread soft and spongy. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with caramel.
More from: Mason Jar Lunches• 10 Benefits of Mason Jar Meals
• Mason Jar Fruit Salad Recipe
• Lasagna in a Jar Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Mason Jar Lunches: 50 Pretty, Portable Packed Lunches (2017), by Jessica Harlan and published by Ulysses Press.