This is one of many variations of a bread pudding, which I bake for my granddaughter. Actually it is croissant and sautéed bananas sandwiches baked in a delicious and rich custard. Using just egg yolks, makes the custard silky and not overly eggy. —Kukla
8 to 10
• 4 1/2 large ripe but without dark spots bananas, sliced in half and then again in half horizontally
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar for sautéing bananas
• 9 large stale or fresh croissants, sliced in half horizontally
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar for the top
• 9 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• finely grated zest of 1 orange
• 2 tablespoons dark rum
• 4 cups Half&Half + 2 cups coconut milk at room temperature
• Pineapple and fresh orange slices, for garnish (optional)
Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon, in small bowl; set aside.
Place croissant halves in single layer on 2 rimmed large baking sheets. Bake, turning ones, until just dry, about 15 minutes, switching trays from top to bottom racks halfway through. Cool about 15 minutes.
Melt the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar in a large shallow pan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved; add banana slices in batches and sauté turning for about 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
Whisk yolks, 1/2 cup brown sugar, vanilla, orange zest, rum and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in half& half and coconut milk until combined. Butter a large and deep baking dish.
Tightly lay down 4 1/2 bottoms of croissants; then 2 banana slices with some of the accumulated sauce on each of the bottoms. Cover with the tops; make sure that the bottom of the baking dish is completely covered. Ladle half of the custard on top.
Repeat the same step with the remaining croissants and bananas. Pour remaining custard and let stand for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, occasionally pressing until thoroughly saturated.
Decorate (if desired) the top with pineapple and orange slices.
Sprinkle brown-sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over top.
Place a baking dish with hot water on the lower rack of the oven; then place the baking dish with the pudding on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until puffed, custard has just set and when pressing center of pudding with finger reveals no runny liquid, 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack and cool until pudding is set and just warm, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool until pudding is set and just warm, about 45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, (if desired) and enjoy.