Apricot-Almond Breakfast Bread Pudding

  • Yield: 12 servings

Spike the whipped cream with a smitch of bourbon for a swoony grown-up dessert! Baked gently in a water bath, the pudding’s edges stay as moist as its insides. Bake your own loaf of bread a day ahead or use leftover odd pieces from the freezer.

Ingredients

1cup dried sour cherries
1/2cup dried apricots or dried cranberries, chopped
1/2cup brandy
1/2cup boiling water
1loaf white bread, torn into chunks (about 10 cups)
2cups half-and-half
2cups heavy cream
6-- eggs
1tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4cups granulated sugar, divided
3/4cup brown sugar
2tablespoons cinnamon
1teaspoon nutmeg
1teaspoon salt
11/2cups sliced almonds
3/4cup granulated sugar, for the top

Instructions

  1. Soak cherries and apricots in brandy and water 1 hour.
  2. Butter a high-sided 9-inch souffle dish or a 12 x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Put bread into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine  half-and-half, cream, eggs, vanilla, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over bread. Add cherries, apricots and their soaking liquid. Add almonds and mix well. Pour mixture into baking pan. Let stand 1 hour for bread to absorb liquid.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar on top of pudding. Cover with a buttered sheet of foil. Set pan in a larger baking dish. Add enough water to larger dish to come halfway up the side of soufflé dish. Bake 1 hour, adding more water to the larger dish as needed. Remove foil. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer, until top is shiny and hard.

Reprinted with permission from With A Measure of Grace, The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant.

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