Apricot-Almond Breakfast Bread Pudding

  • Yield 12 servings

This spicy, chunky, fruity concoction with a brickle-sugar top is best enjoyed warm with freshly whipped cream.

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

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