1 tablespoon butter
1 cranberry loaf pound cake, enough of which is cut into 1/2-inch cubes to yield 2 cups (or use 2 cups leftover Danish or donuts in conjunction with dried cranberries - see below)
2 cups vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries, optional (you may not need these if you were able to get a cranberry loaf as listed above)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup amaretto, whiskey, or warm water
1/2 cup apricot jelly
1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving
1/2 cup chocolate syrup, for serving
1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped, for serving
Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
In a large bowl, mix the cubed baked goods, vanilla wafers, apricots, cranberries, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slice the bananas and fold into the dry ingredients. Transfer to the baking dish, distributing evenly. In another bowl, mix eggs, milk, vanilla and amaretto, whiskey or warm water.
Pour the milk and egg mixture over the dry ingredients. Let the baking dish stand for about 20 minutes to allow the liquid to absorb into the cubed baked goods.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a bain marie by placing the baking dish into a larger pan or dish, 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 and puffs up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and from water bath. Spread apricot jelly over the top of pudding and let rest.
Serve with ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
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