Blackberry Almond Bread Pudding
Indulgent is hardly the word for this wonderful dessert; but fresh blackberries work wonders with cutting its richness. Flavorful egg bread is soaked in a custard spiked with almond extract and orange zest. Delicious on its own, it's even better with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Softened unsalted butter, for custard dishes
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- Grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 4 cups packed, cubed (1/2-inch) day-old challah or other rich egg bread (8 ounces)
- 1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) Driscoll's Blackberries
- 6 tablespoons natural sliced almonds
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter six 10-ounce custard dishes or ramekins.
- Heat half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering.
- Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the warm half-and-half. Add cubed bread and let stand, stirring occasionally, until some of custard has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Divide blackberries evenly among custard dishes, about 5 berries per dish. Spoon equal amounts bread mixture into the dishes. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon almonds.
- Bake until puddings are evenly puffed and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Top each with whipped cream, if using, and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Serve warm.
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