Author: America's Test Kitchen
Recipe type: Dessert
A firm, white, American-style bakery loaf gives this pudding great texture, but a loaf of Jewish Challah is the BEST. Even better is to use a mixture of ⅔ Challah to ⅓ chocolaty and nuty banana bread. Just be sure to let the cubbed challah dry out a bit before soaking. ( just leave it out for a few hours before prepping the dish)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup bourbon
- ¾ cup raisins, dried cherries, or craisins
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 12 ounces (about ½ loaf) good-quality white bread sliced ⅜ inch thick and cut into 1½ inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more to grease the baking dish
- For the topping: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside
- For the Pudding: Adjust an oven ract to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
- Soak ¾ cup of dried fruit in the bourbon until plumped (about 20-25 minutes)
- Whisk the eggs, yolk, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk in the milk, cream, vanilla extract plumped fruit and any remaining bourbon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in 6 cups of bread cubes and mix thoroughly to moisten. Let stand for 20 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the remaining 2 cups of bread cubes on top, pushing them down gently to partially submerge. Brush the exposed bread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the topping.
- Bake until the pudding turns deep golden brown, is beginning to rise up the sides of the baking dish, and jiggles very slightly at the center when shaken. (45-50 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and let cool until set but still warm, about 45 minutes. Serve as is or with whipped cream and port.
Seriously, USE Challah and a couple day old loaf of banana bread and it will rock your world!