Warm spices, jewel-like winter fruit...in a sweet, buttery custard-bread. Comes together from things often leftover in the larder, but appears on the table like a gift.
Tie them up in ribbon! If you'd like a more gingery pudding, you could add a bit of minced candied ginger to each layer. Yummy for breakfast (no candied ginger?) with or without the addition of a little crumbled, cooked bulk breakfast sausage in each. Recipe multiplies easily. —Alyce Morgan
Softened butter, divided (1 to grease cups and 2 to top pudding.)
Slices baguette, cut/ torn into fourths
Fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
Thin slices Granny Smith apple, cored, but not peeled
Using 1 teaspoon of the butter, grease two large oven safe cups or ramekins. (I use Apilco cappucino-sized cups that hold 11 ounces.) Place four pieces of bread, overlapping to fit, in the bottom of each cup. Add 1 tablespoon cranberries, 1 tablespoon raisins, and 2 slices apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Repeat, leaving out raisins in second layer.
In a medium bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup, beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, and ground ginger. Dividing equally, pour egg mixture over the bread and fruit in each cup/ramekin, not filling more than 3/4 full. Press bread down into egg mixture to moisten, but not to submerge necessarily. Dot the top of each bread pudding with one teaspoon of butter.
Place cups on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden and custard is just set. Remove from oven and add one teaspoon grated white chocolate to the top of each, if desired. Let cool/rest 10-15 minutes before eating. Tie each cup with a ribbon and serve warm. (Great cold for breakfast, too.)