My wanderlust knows no bounds, certainly true when it gets colder outside. But I subscribe to Good Life France and sometimes live vicariously through those pages.
This time, I found something in those pages for the holidays.
You may not like fruitcake (I actually love it), but citron is good in other things as well. See my citron biscotti here: https://www.playingwithfoodblog.com/post/ode-to-sarcone-s-bakery-citrus-citron-biscotti
It’s exceptionally good in this bread pudding, and a great holiday breakfast or dessert for your family or guests.
For the baking dishes (one large or several small)
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups whole milk
1 Bourbon Madagascar vanilla bean, split lengthwise
8 egg yolks
1½ cups sugar
9 oz. leftover day-old brioche
10½ oz. assorted dried and candied fruit (such as golden raisins, currants, candied cherries
Vanilla custard sauce, chocolate sauce or apricot or raspberry coulis: all optional. I loved it alone.
Preheat the oven to 340. Grease the baking dishes with the butter, then sprinkle with the sugar until coated.
To prepare the custard, pour the milk into a saucepan. Scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the bean.
Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Cover and let infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the bean.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together for 1 minute until frothy. Slowly whisk in the warm milk on low speed.
To assemble the bread pudding, cut the brioche into approximately ¾-inch slices. If necessary, chop the dried and candied fruit into smaller pieces, removing any pits.
Line the bases of the baking dishes with brioche slices, packing them tightly together. Spoon the fruit over the brioche slices. Cut the remaining brioche into cubes, then scatter them over the fruit in a single layer.
Divide the custard between the dishes if you’re using smaller ones. Place them in the baking pan and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if the tops brown too quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Serve at room temperature.