Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter. Spread the cubed baked goods evenly in the prepared baking dish. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is scalding. In a separate small saucepan, heat the apricots and cranberries with the liqueur (or water) and let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the dried fruits begin to soften. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the hot milk, a small amount at a time, to the egg mixture and whisk together (known as a liaison) to temper the mixture by combining gently and gradually without cooking the eggs. Spread the apricots and raisins evenly over the bread in the baking dish, the pour the liaison into the baking dish, distributing evenly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Let the baking dish stand for about 20 minutes to allow the liquid to absorb into the cubed baked goods.
Prepare a bain marie by placing the baking dish into a larger pan or dish, placing the arrangement into the preheated oven, and then pouring hot water into the outer dish (without splashing any into the custard dish). Bake until the pudding firms up and puffs up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and from water bath and let rest 10 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.
While the bread pudding is baking, prepare the cold fruit soup. To a blender add strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peeled banana, peach and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and strain into a bowl. Return strained fruit to blender and add softened frozen yogurt, blending to combine. Serve as a topping to the Queen's Bread Custard, in demitasse cups as an accompaniment, or by itself as an independent dessert soup.
Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine with Brian O'Reilly, Harper Collins Publishers, copyright 2007, All Rights Reserved
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