After making several savory bread puddings this week, including a pumpkin one, I decided to do a variation on the traditional sweet one I have often made. The difference this time is the use of pecans and Maker's Mark. I hope no one has come up with this already! I like the way that the whole cranberries are mini bursts of tartness. Anyone who finds that this is not sweet enough, can simply add more maple syrup. It is a holiday take on the way we enjoyed apple strudel in Germany with the cream poured on top. —Sagegreen
2 tbl. unsalted butter, divided
cups of stale challah bread, cubed
1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of cream, divided
4 fresh large eggs, room temperature
pinch of kosher salt
dash of Saigon cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup of whole fresh cranberries
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup of maple syrup, grade B preferred, divided...or more to taste
splash of Maker's Mark, divided (or use 1/2 tsp. of vanilla)
Lightly butter a baking dish (13 inch oval, at least 2 inches deep) reserving the rest of the butter. Preheat the oven to 350.
Add the stale bread cubes to the buttered pan.
Whisk together the buttermilk, half the cream and the eggs until smooth. Add a pinch of salt, the spices, and half a splash of whiskey.
Roll the cranberries and toasted pecans (or walnuts) in the brown sugar. Fold these in with the bread cubes. Pour the egg/cream mix over the bread mix. Drizzle half of the maple syrup on top. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot on top. Bake for 40 minutes until fully risen and golden brown.
Scoop out the servings while warm. Heat the remaining maple syrup and add the remaining splash of whiskey to it to drizzle on top of each serving. Pour some of the remaining fresh cool cream on top of each serving as well.