Creamy Cranberry Bread Pudding

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
40 min
15 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • 1/2 large bakery challah or brioche (about 8 ounces bread)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the crusts off the bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of cubes. Arrange on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they do not brown too much; set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

  • In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half, cream, salt, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer (do not let it boil), turn off the heat. Set aside to infuse 10 to 15 minutes.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot cream mixture. Strain into a large bowl to smooth the mixture and remove the vanilla bean. Add the bread cubes, toss well and let soak until absorbed. Fold the mixture occasionally to ensure even soaking.

  • In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice to a simmer. Add the cranberries and simmer until plumped and softened, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup for garnish.

  • Fold in remaining 3/4 cup of cranberries into bread pudding mixture. Divide the mixture among 6 ramekins, custard cups, or dessert cups, (or use a deep baking dish). Divide the soaked bread among the dishes, then pour any remaining custard over the bread. Dot with remaining cranberries.

  • Arrange the puddings in a hot water bath. Bake until set and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes for individual puddings and 40 to 45 minutes for 1 large pudding. Serve warm or chilled, dusted with confectioners' sugar.

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