Make Ahead

Persimmon Walnut Bread Pudding

December 12, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Eaten breakfast, midday, or dessert, what's not to love about this bread pudding? This treat is tender on the bottom and scattered with crunchy sugar, producing a contrasting, crispy top. The center is sublime, stuffed with bright lemon zest, creamy mascarpone, and cooked fruit. Huzzah. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • For the bread:
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 loaf challah, sliced 1/2-inch thick and toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe persimmons, seeded and mashed (I used wild persimmons, but Fuyu make a fine substitute)
  • butter, for greasing the pan
  • demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream, for serving
  • To pour over bread:
  • 1 cup whole milk (use grass-fed if possible), divided
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Stir together zest and mascarpone and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all but 1/4 cup of the milk and 1/4 cup of the rum with the eggs, brown sugar, and spices. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  3. Slather mascarpone-zest mixture on each challah slice, followed by a smear of the mashed persimmon. You may find you have some mascarpone leftover. If so, save it for just before baking. Cut slices into halves.
  4. Grease a baking dish and scatter Demerara sugar over the surface. Stagger bread slices in pan, crusts tilted up.
  5. Pour milk-rum-egg mixture evenly over bread layers, then scatter walnuts all over. Allow the bread to soak in the liquid overnight.
  6. Heat oven to 350° F. Remove pan from fridge. Stir together remainder of milk and rum and gently pour onto bread faces (not the top crusts). If you have any leftover mascarpone, place little dabs around. (I had less than 2 tablespoons left and did it this way, and it was great.)
  7. Sprinkle Demerara sugar over bread layers and bake until top crusts are deeply golden and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Whip cream into firm peaks and chill. When pudding is ready, allow to cool for ten minutes on a wire rack. Serve this spiced, heavenly treat warm, with dollops of cream. Makes for a decadent breakfast or a perfect dessert.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
  • FP
Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

2 Reviews

FP November 27, 2020
A hit at the dinner table. However I found the amount of liquid added just before putting in the oven to be excessive: though I only added half of the 1/4 c. rum and 1/4 c. milk I'd measured out, liquid still pooled in the bottom of the oven dish when I took out a serving. Also (and I say this as someone who likes the taste of alcohol in desserts) I think there's a bit too much rum, as it overpowers the other flavours.
Melina H. November 28, 2020
This is an old recipe - thank you for the feedback! I should test it again after all this time. Yes, the liquor quantity could probably be halved and still be ample. glad you made and loved it!