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LEMON BREAD PUDDING

 

Ingredients for 8 to 10 servings:

 

1 pound two day old French bread

 

Lemon curd

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

grated zest of 2 lemons

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

 

Custard:

2 cups milk

3 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Assembly: 2/3 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries

Garnish: sour cream or whipped cream

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 2 quart baking dish or casserole. Trim crust from the bread (if desired) and slice.

 

Lemon Curd:

Beat the eggs and sugar in a heavy saucepan heat to 100 degrees. Add the lemon juice, zest and butter and cook over medium low heat until the curd thickens (160-170 degrees). Strain the curd into a bowl, and set aside.

 

Custard:

Whisk together all the custard ingredients until well blended.

 

Assembly and Baking:

Make a layer with 1/3 of the dry bread slices. Pour on 1/3 of the custard. Spread on 1/2 of the lemon curd and sprinkle on half the cherries or cranberries. Repeat with a second layer. Add the third layer of bread and spoon the custard over the pudding. Let it sit to absorb the liquid for 10 minutes.

 

Cover the pudding with buttered foil and bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with lightly whipped cream or sour cream.