Classic bread pudding made with pecans and cherries and topped with a creamy salted caramel sauce.
This past weekend was an exciting one around here....because Ellia scored her VERY FIRST goal in soccer! Woo hoo! She's been playing for a year and a half, and has come close to scoring so many times....but this weekend she finally did it! And she could not have been more EXCITED. The only problem? I completely missed it!! And not because I was talking instead of paying attention to the game (who would do that?!?) but because I wasn't even at the game! I was at home with Nora, because the game fell right smack dab in the middle of her nap time.
The fact that I missed her first goal wasn't so much a big deal for her.....she was still super excited to tell me about it when she got home and to go pick out her new Rainbow Loom rubber bands as the special "reward" her dad had promised her. No....it was a much bigger deal to me. I've been at nearly all her games and watched her come close every time before! And not only that....but I've been there for nearly all of her "firsts" in life, and it's hard to miss one she's been working toward and wanting for so long!
Life is like that, I guess. Sometimes we miss really important things. Which, oddly enough, makes me think of this bread pudding. Right around the time I was taking these photos, and inhaling the delicious aroma of baked cherries and salted caramel, I decided I REALLY needed to try a bite. I just couldn't resist! And....it was delicious!! But it had a crunch to it I wasn't exactly expecting. At first I thought it was just an extra crunchy pecan, so I took another bite, and....same thing. Would you believe - I forgot to take the pits out of the cherries?? Yep, pretty important, I know. Like I said - sometimes we miss really important things! The good news, I guess? There's always next time.
Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
5 c. brioche bread, cubed
1 c. skim milk
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. pecans
1 c. cherries (I used frozen)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2.5 qt. baking dish. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Stir in pecans and cherries.
3. Place bread in buttered dish and pour the egg mixture over it, pressing the bread down to submerge it. Let sit for 30 minutes, pressing down the bread occasionally.
4. Dot with small pieces of butter; place in preheated oven and bake until golden, approximately 1 hour.
5. Serve warm with salted caramel sauce.
*Can be made up to 1 day in advance; refrigerate, covered, and warm in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
2/3 c. half and half
1/4 c. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1. In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Add water and half and half.
2. Cook and stir until bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more.
3. Remove from heat; stir in butter, vanilla and salt.
*Basic Bread Pudding recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine; Basic Caramel Sauce recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book
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