Make Ahead

Cranberry Bread Pudding with Pumpkin Spiced Creme Anglaise

November 11, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 12
Author Notes

I love bread puddings in all their forms, they are to me, the ultimate comfort dessert. For this dish, I took an elegant and rich white chocolate bread pudding, studded it with sweet-tart cranberries, and finished the whole thing with a creme anglaise made with pumpkin pie spices that just screams Thanksgiving. The combination would be a knock-out addition to any holiday spread. —Oui, Chef

What You'll Need
  • for the bread pudding
  • 1 loaf, challah or brioche bread
  • 1 pound high quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • for the pumpkin spiced creme anglaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  1. For the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 325? degrees. Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the chopped white chocolate, nuts and cranberries, and mix to distribute.
  2. Combine the milk, cream, and vanilla paste and bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk the eggs in a medium sized bowl with the sugar until light ribbons form. Add hot milk mixture to eggs slowly, whisking constantly to temper. Strain custard over bread, chocolate, nuts and berries, and let stand for 10-15 minutes to allow custard to soak into the bread.
  3. Pour the mix into a buttered 9”X13” baking dish and place the baking dish in another, larger roasting pan. Pour hot water into larger pan to reach 1 inch up side of the baking dish. Bake the bread pudding for about 1 hour, until custard is set and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and lift the baking dish from the hot water bath, let cool on a rack.
  4. For the crème anglaise: Prepare a clean bowl set over an ice bath, and set it aside along with a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and egg yolks until light yellow and frothy. Set aside. Heat the half-and-half and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
  6. Whisk a small amount of half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture to temper, then whisk the remaining half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the combined egg and half-and-half mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it just begins to simmer. Do not let the mixture boil. Gently cook until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. ??Remove from heat and strain though the fine mesh strainer into the bowl set over ice. Stir occasionally until cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Serve the bread pudding warm, drizzled with a few spoonfuls of the spiced creme anglaise.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Susan Dahl
    Susan Dahl
  • cookinginvictoria
  • luvcookbooks
  • mrslarkin
  • lapadia
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin. About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.

16 Reviews

Susan D. December 17, 2014
Tastes even better than it looks...a really decadent dessert. For all non-lovers of white chocolate - don't let the white chocolate discourage you from making this dessert. The white chocolates melts into the dessert and I am not sure I even tasted the white chocolate except that it was an incredibly rich tasting dessert and that might have been due to the white chocolate. I don't really like white chocolate either but this dessert was fantastic. I might try cutting the white chocolate in half next time I make it to save on both calories and cost but this recipe was so good that I am not sure I want to mess with it. Made the anglaise two days before and also prepped the bread, cranberries, pecans and chocolate at the same time. Cut down the actual evening off prep time to a minimum which was a good thing since I was having company.
Threemealsaday November 16, 2010
Bread pudding is a favorite in our house and you have made it into a more beautiful dessert that one could ever imagine. Great presentation. Did you cut this with a cake mold?

cookinginvictoria November 13, 2010
Wow, this looks and sounds amazing. Oui Chef, I really love your recipes. I also adore bread pudding (not to mention cranberries). I think that I will have to try this.
luvcookbooks November 12, 2010
not a white chocolate fan, either, but this looks like a great recipe. my brother in law the bread pudding fanatic's birthday falls the day after thanksgiving this year, think i will make it as a gift/dessert for his party, thanks!!
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
You're welcome....I'm sure your fanatic will love it! Thanks - S
mrslarkin November 11, 2010
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
Thanks, mrslarkin. Not only was I pleased with the flavors in this dish, but I love bread pudding for how you can make 1 big batch, then cut it into individual servings for a special "holiday" presentation. - S
lapadia November 11, 2010
Exquisite! I am not usually a white chocolate person either, but there are exceptions and this would be one of them...thanks for sharing your recipe!
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
Thanks, lapadia. To be honest, I'm not much of a white chocolate guy myself, and really only like it in dishes where there are some contrasting flavors to cut its sweetness. In this dish, the earthiness of the nuts, spice of the creme anglaise, and tartness of the berries do that nicely. I also have a cookie recipe that I LOVE which gets the job done with a blast of salt, nuts and heath bar bits...they are salty-sweet heaven. - S
AntoniaJames November 11, 2010
Breathtakingly beautiful . . . especially on that cobalt plate. I might just have to overcome a longstanding aversion to white chocolate to give this one a ride . . . . . ;o)
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
Thank you, AntoniaJames. If you can tolerate the white stuff at all, I urge you to give it a go. The creme anglaise would be good with almost any holiday dessert you serve. - S
drbabs November 11, 2010
really delicious. i'm thinking breakfast.
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
Thanks, drbabs.....sure beats Special K. - S
Lizthechef November 11, 2010
Lovely - thumbs up!
Lizthechef November 11, 2010
Back again, this is my winner.
Oui, C. November 12, 2010
WOW....thanks, Lizthechef! I am humbled by your vote of confidence given the sheer number, and quality, of dishes posted this week. I hope you get a chance to try it one day. - S