Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Autumn bread pudding features pears, cranberries and apricots

There’s a touch of fall in the air today. It feels good – nice and crisp and sunny, with temps just hovering around seventy degrees. And on the bread pudding scene is this recipe for autumn, full of the color and flavor of apricots, cranberries, and pears.

It comes from the folks at King Arthur Flour, whose shop and cooking facility I visited recently in Norwich, Vermont. This trip makes a delightful fall excursion. While you’re there, you can sample some of their fresh breads, attend a cooking class, or just enjoy the ambience.

They suggest using a nice, rich bread such as brioche or challah for this pudding. Mmmmm, this one’s irresistible.


7 cups (about 9 ounces) cubed leftover bread (brioche and challah are nice)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half, cream, or milk
15-ounce can pears in light syrup
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a Polish stoneware shallow fluted bowl, or 9" x 13" baking dish.Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add milk and half and half, continuing to whisk. Stir bread into egg mixture, using large spoon or spatula to mix everything together until bread is thoroughly coated. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.Drain pears, reserving syrup for another use if desired. Cut pears into 1" pieces. Cut dried apricots into slivers. (Scissors sprayed with a little non-stick vegetable oil spray work well here.) Fold all the fruit into bread-custard mixture and pour it into baking pan. Bake for 50 minutes (for 9" x 13" pan) to 60 minutes (for Polish dish), until pudding is puffed, lightly browned, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let pudding cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve with ice cream, if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
(Recipe from King Arthur Flour, 2008)


Joan said...

Autumn is my favorite time of year to cook. This BP sounds right up my alley. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Portia Little said...

I agree, Joan. And the colors in this bread pudding are just right for the season.