November 1, 2010

1 pound brioche or challah bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (12 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Artificial Growth W-60250 - 6 Foot Hibiscus Topiary - PeachFrozen peaches, thawed, to equal 2 large fresh peaches, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1/4 cup peach schnapps (optional, see variation note)
1/2 cup grade a maple syrup
4 large eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Yields 8 servings.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread brioche on rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice.
Melt butter in a large skillet.
Reserve 3 tablespoons of melted butter.
Add peaches and 1/4 cup sugar to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add schnapps, if using. Return skillet to heat and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and 3/4 cup sugar. Add brioche and peach mixture and toss until coated. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Brush an 8-by-11-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Add bread pudding and drizzle with remaining syrup and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until pudding is set and the top is golden and slightly crispy. Let cool and serve.

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