Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bread Pudding with Caramelized Peaches

(6- 8 servings)

I had a loaf of bread go stale on me faster than I expected; a combination of not eating it quick enough and perhaps purchasing it later than I usually do. I always check the expiration dates of food and will spend an extra minute or two digging around until I find something slightly "fresher".

There's already a bag of breadcrumbs (from a previous loaf) in the freezer, so I decided to make a bread pudding out of this one. It reheats nicely and I like having some for breakfast (if I decide to eat anything at all) with my double espresso in the mornings.

I tried to get all creative and made this in a 6-cup bundt pan, hoping to cut it into pretty cake slices. Well, that couldn't have been further from the truth. The darn thing stuck, and when I finally banged it loose, there was a mini-mountain of warm stuff heaped on my serving platter.

Bread Mixture
5 cups of cubed stale sourdough bread, about 5-7 slices
2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar

Fruit Mixture
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups peaches, sliced
1/4 tsp pure almond extract

butter for the cake pan

heavy cream

Place the bread in a large bowl and pour the milk over it. Let stand about half an hour.

Meanwhile make the fruit mixture.

Heat the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Add the peaches and continue to cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and the peaches are well coated. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar and add that to the bread and milk mixture.

Spoon half the bread mixture into a well buttered 1.5 quart oven proof souffle dish, spoon the fruit mixture evenly over that and top with the remaining bread mixture.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is browned, and the pudding feels firm.

 Serve with heavy cream. This bread pudding reheats nicely.

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