Spirited Dried Plum Bread Pudding
Bread pudding doesn't get much better than this version, layered with rum-soaked dried plums. It's especially good served warm with whipped cream.
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) pitted dried plums, halved
1/3 cup rum
12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread (about 8 ounces)
6 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
In small bowl, combine dried plums and rum; let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.
Heat oven to 400°F. Line bottom of shallow 2 to 3-quart baking dish with half the bread. Spoon dried plum mixture over bread. Arrange remaining bread on top, overlapping slices slightly; set aside. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and sugars until well mixed. Stir in milk and orange peel; pour over bread mixture. Press down lightly to saturate bread with egg mixture. Bake in lower half of oven 40 to 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned and knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool 15 minutes. Lightly dust top with powder sugar. Place under boiler a few seconds to glaze top, watching closely. Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream, if desired.
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