Bread pudding is a favorite of my best taste tester, but for some reason makes an infrequent appearance on our dessert tables. For Christmas, I combined some of his favorites — egg nog, raisin bread, and cherries — to make a special bread pudding just for him. I recommend using home-baked or bakery bread that is a couple of days of old (I used Silverbow Bakery bread). And plan ahead — this recipe requires that you let your bread pudding sit in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
1 medium loaf of raisin challah bread, cut into 1 inch squares
2 tbs Truvia baking blend
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups of egg nog (fresh, not canned — and not spiked!)
1 jar fancy cherry preserves (not jelly)
2 tbs good quality bourbon (a little more or less, depending on how much the cook samples)
How I Made It:
Prepare a large baking dish/cake pan — 9×13 or a 10 inch round — with Baker’s Secret or other baking spray. I used a spring form pan so that I would have a lovely round shape to present. Fill the dish/pan with bread cubes. It should really fill the dish/pan, which is okay because you’ll press it down once you add the custard.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and nutmeg. Add the beaten eggs and combine thoroughly. Pour in the egg nog, stirring together until you have a lovely creamy custard.
Pour the custard over the bread cubes. Use a fork to carefully combine the bread and liquid so that all the cubes are covered. Using your fork, press the bread down so that it is compact in the baking dish.
Cover the bread pudding with plastic wrap, with the wrap on the surface of the pudding. This is important because you’re going to weigh down the top while it chills in the refrigerator.
Put the bread pudding in the refrigerator overnight, placing a heavy plate or bowl on the top so that it smooshes the pudding down and together.
When you’re ready to bake it, put your cold pudding in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees, letting the baking dish/cake pan come to temperature with the oven. (I do this because I’m afraid that my glass dishes with shatter going from cold to hot too quickly.) Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the pudding is lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes away clean.
While the bread pudding cools a little, heat the cherry preserves in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously so they don’t stick or burn. When you have the consistency you want for your sauce, stir in the bourbon.
Serve the bread pudding with a spoonful of cherry sauce on top.
How It Turned Out: