Years ago, my sister sent me a recipe for bread pudding which I believe she found in the Austin Statesman. I added cranberries and our family raved about it. I do not think I ever made bread pudding before that, but have certainly made up for it since. This has become a keeper, a favorite, a lovely holiday tradition for the Parker kitchen. I have mentioned it before on Kitchen Keepers, but it deserves a stand alone post. I served it this week at our family Christmas dinner. it is also a favorite guilty pleasure served for next morning’s breakfast or brunch if there are any leftovers!
Cranberry Almond Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce
1 pound French bread loaf, plain
1 quart half and half
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1½cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons almond extract
¾ cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Tear french bread loaf into bite-sized pieces, place in a medium size bowl Pour quart of half and half over bread and soak for one hour, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9X13 inch baking dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 stick of melted butter, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 3 eggs. Then stir in 2 tablespoons almond extract, 3/4 cups sliced almonds, and 3/4 cup dried cranberries. Pour soaked bread pieces into buttered baking dish and add almond/ cranberry mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until it is turning golden brown on top. While it is cooking, make Amaretto Sauce:
½ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup Amaretto
Cook 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup powdered sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until hot. Allow the sugar mixture to cool to room temperature.
Whisk in 1 egg and 1/4 cup Amaretto. After the bread pudding is cooked, slice it lengthwise and crosswise in the baking dish. Spoon sauce mixture over the top. Then, put the pudding back into the oven under the broiler until the sauce bubbles. WATCH CAREFULLY! It is really easy to burn the top of the pudding at the end. It is important to bring the sauce to a bubble, to cook the egg in the topping.
It is important to bring the sauce to a bubble, to cook the egg in the topping. For individual servings, cut pudding into squares, place one at a time on oven proof dessert dish, spoon sauce over top and broil briefly as with whole pudding.