Croissant Bread Pudding…or a reason to get up on a Sunday morning.  Oh my goodness this was such a treat!!  I’m sure Ina meant for it to be eaten as a dessert…what bread pudding isn’t?…but I read earlier in December in a fellow BB member’s post that this would be great served for a brunch since it compares similarly to an overnight French toast.  So when my cousin came to visit for our cookie baking extravaganza  last month, I made this for our Sunday morning breakfast.  And.it.was.awesome.  Just awesome.  My cousin drizzled a little maple syrup on top but I honestly didn’t think it needed anything extra.  I swapped out some of the half-n-half for some vanilla eggnog I had on hand (it’s not a Christmas in our house without it) and added a little extra vanilla extract – changes below  – and halved the recipe since there was just three of us for breakfast.  A half recipe still left us three breakfast servings leftover but nobody complained about eating these leftovers. Although I didn’t make any additional changes to the recipe, I see it as one that is highly adaptable and adding other dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries, walnuts or even crumbled cooked breakfast sausage would make wonderful additions.

Before finishing this post, I have to admit that I wasn’t happy about this choice when I first learned about it because I have never ever been a fan of bread pudding.  But since Ina continues to dazzle me with her recipes, I couldn’t pass this one up just based on some possibly crappy bread pudding I’ve eaten in the past.  So don’t let the term “bread pudding” scare you away from this recipe!!  Many many thanks to Peggy from Pantry Revisited for choosing this fabulous recipe as December’s first.  This will most definitely make an appearance at our next brunch event!

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Croissant Bread Pudding

source: adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, page 192

Ingredients:

  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla eggnog
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, eggnog, sugar, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture aside. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. In a 9 by 13 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently.
  3. Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  • January 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    I have recently found a love of bread pudding and this one looks fabulous! I love croissants so this one HAS to be good!

  • Mom
    January 4, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    And where, possibly, did you possibly eat some possibly crappy bread pudding?

    • smellslikehome
      January 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM

      Possibly at Grandma’s house. Rather, likely at Grandma’s house. 🙂

  • January 5, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Love your addition of the eggnog! I bet the dried apricots or sausage would be a fabulous addition. I will definitely make this for a future brunch.

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