Julia’s Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) + An Honor: The Legacy of Julia Child Award, IACP

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante

There are some mornings when you know exactly what to do. When your determined feet step into the kitchen, your tastebuds expect certain flavors, your eye squints behind the viewfinder. Fingers fly across the keyboard.

That was me the morning the world celebrated what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. I woke up inspired and in less than a few hours time, I had cooked and celebrated, my tribute joining the hundreds that fluttered across twitter, and all forms of media.

A month or so later, I saw that the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) was commemorating Julia Child’s 100th birthday and place in American food culture with a writing contest: The Legacy of Julia Child Award. I thought of my post and hesitated. Should I submit it? It’s just a simple story. But it was my story, and it was my tribute. Why not?

So I did.

And I was so very deeply honored when they selected my piece, Homework with Julia, as the winner of The Legacy of Julia Child Award. I am extremely grateful and feel very privileged to have my writing recognized, along with such esteemed food writers.

I wanted to celebrate with Julia in the kitchen, once again. With her Cinnamon Toast Flan.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Toast
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Eggs

Julia’s marriage of a classic bread pudding with a silky flan had me dreaming of eggs and creme Anglaise for days. I have to admit that even after I baked this bread pudding and scraped the last bit from the baking dish, I found myself returning to the kitchen to whisk more eggs into silky ribbons.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Creme Anglaise
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante
Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | Cranberry Sauce

Her recommendation: eat it warm, eat it cold, at room temperature, topped with fresh fruit, or even a fruit sauce.

I did. And I hope you do, too.

Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) | Kitchen Confidante | With Cranberry Sauce

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Julia's Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding)

Yield: Serves 6-8.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Bread pudding meets silky flan in this lovely recipe from Julia Child. To make it even more decadent, I used slices of cinnamon swirl bread and topped the warm pudding with rich ice cream and cinnamon kissed cranberry sauce.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 slices cinnamon bread
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 large eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups hot milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Preheat the broiler. Prepare a baking dish by greasing with 2 tablespoons of the softened butter. Set aside.

Butter the slices of cinnamon bread with the remaining butter on one side. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Arrange on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler for a few seconds, until the bread is toasted and the golden. This takes just a little bit of time. Remove from the oven and cut into triangles, quartered.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the crème anglaise by whisking the eggs in a small saucepan using an electric beater (this an also be done by hand). Incorporate the sugar in a slow steady stream, and continue whisking until the eggs are paler in color and thicker, about 3 minutes or so. Drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the scalded milk while whisking, and slowly incorporate all the milk. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken. This transformation can happen very quickly, be careful not to overheat the custard as it can curdle. Once the custard coats the back of your wooden spoon, strain the crème anglaise into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

Layer the slices of bread buttered side up in the baking dish. Drizzle with a coating of crème anglaise, then place another layer of bread on top, followed by more crème anglaise.

Bake in a water bath by placing the baking dish in a larger pan and filling halfway with boiling water. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about an inch away from the edge of the baking dish comes out clean.

Adapted from Cinnamon Toast Flan (A Bread Pudding), Julia Child, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom (Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2000) via Epicurious.

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by Liren Baker on November 29, 2012

23 Responses to “Julia’s Cinnamon Toast Flan (Bread Pudding) + An Honor: The Legacy of Julia Child Award, IACP”

  1. Lindsey November 29, 2012 @ 12:47 pm (#

    Amazing, Liren!!! The post is lovely, congratulations on the win!

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

      I’m so pleased you liked the post, Lindsey. Thank you!! One day, I’ll have to revisit Paris, and hopefully you can join me in toasting Julia at one of her old haunts :)

  2. Aileen November 29, 2012 @ 1:02 pm (#

    Congratulations, Liren! So well-deserved! :)

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      Thank you so much, Aileen!

  3. Lawyer Loves Lunch November 29, 2012 @ 1:22 pm (#

    Really enjoyed your tribute to Julia Child and am so so glad the IACP did as well :)

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      Azmina, thank you my friend!! I’m so glad they appreciated my simple story, too :)

  4. Becca from It's Yummilicious November 29, 2012 @ 2:26 pm (#

    Oh Liren!!! What a wonderful and special story that was. Congratulations on a beautiful job well done!

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

      Becca!!! Thank you soo much!

  5. Brian November 29, 2012 @ 3:00 pm (#

    Congratulations friend! You deserve this recognition of your beautiful work. And now I must try this recipe. I really must.

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

      Aw, Brian, you’re so sweet. Thank you. And yes, do try it, I know you’ll like it. (Add a slash of bourbon to the creme anglaise!)

  6. Joan Nova November 29, 2012 @ 3:18 pm (#

    Congratulations, Liren, but I must add that it is no surprise and it is well-deserved. I just read your piece and I was totally transported and enchanted by your words and images.

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

      Aw, Joan, thank you! I’m so glad I was able to take you back with me in reliving that fond memory :)

  7. Debi Shawcross November 29, 2012 @ 5:26 pm (#

    Congrats, Liren! You are very talented behind the camera, in the kitchen, and on paper. Happy to see you getting the recognition you deserve.

    p.s.: This bread pudding looks pretty amazing BTW

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

      Thank you so, so much Debi, for your kind words! You’ve seen my work since the beginning (the good and the bad, heh), and I appreciate your friendship :)

  8. Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} November 29, 2012 @ 6:29 pm (#

    Congratulations Liren! So well deserved! I admire your writing prowess and you did a terrific job celebrating Julia’s 100th!

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

      Aw, Lisa! Thank you so much! I just write from the heart, I’m so glad this food adventure has brought our worlds together!

  9. Holly November 29, 2012 @ 6:41 pm (#

    Congratulations, Liren! I have been an admirer of your writing and photography for a long time, and this award is well deserved.

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

      Thank you so much, Holly! Your kindness has always meant a lot to me!

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 29, 2012 @ 10:51 pm (#

    Congratulations, Liren! I absolutely loved that post – the award is most deserved! :)

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

      Laura, it means so much that you remember :) xo Thank you!

  11. TKB01 November 30, 2012 @ 7:23 am (#

    Congraulations! Finally getting the credit you deserve! I could not be more proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I know that this is just the beginning!

    • liren replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

      It is because of you that I am able to do what I love, don’t think that is ever forgotten. I started this because I love it, not for any credit, but it is definitely nice to be appreciated :) It is your support that keeps me going, and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

  12. Mary November 30, 2012 @ 10:26 pm (#

    Liren, Congratulations! I am SO happy for you. I’m not at all surprised – you are a wonderful writer. I remember reading that post and how much I loved it. You have a gift – actually, you have many.

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