I never liked "bread pudding". Mainly because my first memory related to "bread pudding" was not good. It was from my landlord when I was in graduate school. She baked a bread pudding and, I'm sorry to say, it didn't look good nor did it taste good. Even since then, I stayed far away from it UNTIL yesterday. Boy! Who knows that first memory can ruin my chance with bread pudding for such a long time!
I watched the Katie Brown show on TV yesterday, and they were baking this bread pudding. It caught my eyes right away, because it looks gorgeous and incredibly easy. This has totally change my impression to bread pudding. It smells great already when it's still in the oven. The best part: it is crunchy on top yet so soft and smooth (just like pudding) inside. Two different textures in one bite! Serve when it's warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream -- also two different experiences in one bite! Enjoy!
- 4-5 Large Croissants, dried and cubed (approximately 4-1/2 cups when cubed)
- 1 Cup Nuts, Toasted (Hazelnuts or Almonds, cook’s preference)
- 1 Cup Dried Cherries (soaked in 1 Tbsp. of water if too dry)*
* If cherries are not available, fresh blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries can be used. Fresh fruit should be firm and added at the very end so it is not “crushed” by stirring.
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla or Almond Extract (cook’s preference)
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
1. Butter a 1½-2 quart baking dish with 1 Tbsp butter.
2. Cut or tear the croissants into cubes, mix with the cherries and nuts and reserve.
3. Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla or almond extract, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Add the croissants, nuts and cherries. Combine with a spatula and let soak for about 10 minutes.
5. Heat the oven to 325ºF.
6. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until the sides are firms and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.If not done, bake for another 20 min. Repeat if necessary.
7. Let stand for 15-20 minutes and serve!