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2000s Recipes + Menus

Brandied Dried-Fruit Bread Pudding

  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
January 2009
Bread pudding, the ultimate homey dessert, is sometimes as simple as a cut-up loaf baked in a rich custard, but it’s even better when fruit is added to the mix. Here, chopped prunes, apricots, and cranberries are simmered in brandy until plump, and those nuggets of boozy sweetness elevate this weeknight treat to something spectacular. Plus, it’s very forgiving: Use your own favorite mix of fruit and any kind of good-quality bread.
  • 1 baguette
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruit such as prunes, apricots, and cranberries
  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a 2-qt shallow baking dish.
  • Cut enough 1-inch pieces from baguette to measure 6 cups.
  • Whisk together cream, milk, eggs, yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread and soak, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil brandy and water with dried fruits in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbsp, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • Stir fruit mixture into bread mixture, then transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Tbsp sugar over top. Bake until custard is set and bread is golden in places, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.