Drunken Bread Puddings Recipe

This pudding is reminiscent of fruitcake or panettone but are incredibly creamy.

1/2 cup spiced rum
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/3 cup finely diced dried apricots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup dried currants
1-1/2 cups 18% table cream
1 cup 10% half-and-half cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 cups 1/2" cubed egg bread (challah) (about half a 22 oz. loaf)
1/2 cup orange marmalade with peel


Step 1: Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Step 2:
In small saucepan, heat rum and brown sugar to simmer. Turn off heat. Stir in apricots, cherries and currants. Cover and let fruit soak at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, in another pot, bring table cream and half-and-half cream to simmer. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt; set aside.

Step 4: In large heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture.

Step 5:
Add bread cubes to cream mixture, tossing gently to coat. Let stand 20 minutes, gently folding mixture after 10 minutes to ensure that bread is evenly moistened.

Step 6:
Divide bread mixture among 12 1/2-cup ramekins. Top each with a spoonful of rum-soaked fruit and a spoonful of marmalade. Push a spoon into the centre of each pudding, partially submerging the fruit and marmalade. (Puddings can be prepared ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated overnight).

Step 7:
Bake in a bain-marie (a baking pan filled with water halfway up outsides of ramekins) for 35 minutes or until bread begins to turn golden. Serve warm or chilled.

Michael Kohn