Name: Apricot Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Yum yum yummmmm! I love when other people make food that I get to eat, requiring little to no work on my part. Especially when the person who is making the food is my friend’s mother, who happens to be a very good baker. In this case, she surprised a few friends with desserts made for those of us whose birthdays had recently passed, and mine was this tasty treat.* I haven’t enjoyed a bread pudding with fruit since one of my first posts (one of my favorites from Gordon Biersch), and have been looking around for a dish like this for a while.
Although I am not sure of the exact recipe she used, I’d imagine it is very similar to this recipe from Epicurious, also listed below. One interesting detail about the dish is that the bread used as the base is croissant, which was a first for me. This allowed the texture to be very creamy and light, soaking up the custard but still retaining the airiness of the croissant. The crust was perfectly cooked, with just the slightest crunchiness and resistance.
In terms of taste, the flavor was light and tasted slightly of vanilla, but really brought out the eggs and original croissant flavor. The apricots added a slight tartness to the dish, and created a pleasant variety in the texture. This is definitely more of a summer bread pudding (if there exists such a thing), the perfect addition to a cookout or, say, a gathering of good friends on a nice June evening.
But the very best part?
CARAMEL SAUCE ALL DAY LONG
The caramel sauce pulled it all together. Definitely a 5-star dish in my opinion!
*The carrot cake and German chocolate cake were also extremely delicious
Apricot Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
Bon Appétit | January 2000
The Winchester Country Inn, Ashland, OR
1 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/4 cup water
5 cups whipping cream
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
8 croissants, cubed (about 1 pound)
1 cup dried apricots, diced
Simmer Grand Marnier and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan 5 minutes. Cool mixture completely. Whisk Grand Marnier-water mixture, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg in large bowl to blend. Place croissant pieces in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; add apricots and toss to combine. Pour custard over croissant-apricot mixture, pressing down gently with rubber spatula so that croissant and apricot pieces are evenly covered. Let stand 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Place dish in larger roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of baking dish. Bake 1 hour.
Remove aluminum foil and continue baking until bread pudding is golden brown on top and firm to touch, about 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread pudding from oven and from water bath; cool slightly. Drizzle bread pudding with Caramel Sauce, if desired, and serve warm.