Baked grapefruit? I was skeptical, but I gave it a try. And I am quite pleased to report I loved this breakfast. Or desert. Which I ate for breakfast.
While most of the blogs I enjoy reading have switched to a theme of vegetable recipes to cure their readers’ holiday hangovers and assumed weight gain, I continue to eat dessert for breakfast three days in to January. Despite my still-tight pants, it is wonderful. I am calling this my acceptance (as opposed to desiring change) phase.
Just as baked citrus did not initially win me over, grapefruit and coconut did not strike me as all that stellar of a pair. However, the tart grapefruit flavor and sweet coconut complement each other very well, and the nutmeg adds just enough something to keep it interesting.
Because the bread needs time to soak up the delicious coconut milk, this dish is not something to pull together for a quick brunch. On the other hand, it is easily prepared with dinner the night before and popped into the oven to bake the following morning. Enjoy!
Coconut Grapefruit Brunch Bread
- For the Brunch Bread
- 3 cups Italian or French bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit sections, well-drained
- 1, 13.5 oz can coconut or light coconut milk
- 1/4 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- For the Topping
- 2 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons flour
- Layer the bread cubes in an 8 x 8 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare the grapefruit by removing all pith and membranes. Layer the fruit on top of the bread.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, brown sugar, eggs, coconut extract, nutmeg, and salt.
- Gently pour the mixture over the grapefruit and bread.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least eight hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering with foil if the top becomes too brown.
- While the brunch bread bakes, prepare the topping. Combine the shredded coconut, brown sugar, and flour, and then rub the butter into the mixture until it looks like small pebbles.
- After the initial 30 minutes of baking, sprinkle the topping over the brunch bread and return to the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes. Again, cover the dish with foil if the top becomes too brown. When done, all liquid will have been absorbed and the bread pudding will appear firm.
- Allow the hot dish to sit for 10 minutes before serving warm or allow to fully cool and serve at room temperature.
It is very important to take the time to remove the grapefruit sections from its membranes. This is typically very easy to do and will avoid a tough, chewy bite of fruit. It is also important to allow the grapefruit to drain before layering it over the bread. I simply set my peeled fruit in a colander for a while, but I see no reason allowing the fruit to sit on a paper towel would not work as well.