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Five-Spice Fruited Bread Pudding with Chestnut Cream

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This delicious bread pudding includes baked apples, and can be made with any stale bread or pastries on hand. The flavor of chestnut is infused in the pudding and featured in the whipped cream topping.

Prep Time: 2 hours
Serving Size: serves 8-10
Ingredients
  • 4-6 c. dry or stale bread or pastries
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. Chinese five-spice
  • 2-4 tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp. chestnut paste (optional)
  • 5 tart apples suitable for baking
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 c. fruity liquid (examples: sangria, sweeter white wine, apple juice, orange juice)
  • 2 c. whipping cream
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 1 tsp. chestnut tea leaves
Directions
This recipe has four parts: The Bready Bits, The Pudding Bits, The Fruity Bits, and The Creamy Bits.
The Bready Bits:
4-6 c. dried bread or pastries (doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, pound cake, etc.) broken into chunks/cubes, toasted lightly in a 300°F oven if needed for good dryness.
The Pudding Bits: whisk all of these ingredients thoroughly
5 eggs
2 c. half and half
1 c. milk
1/2 c. yogurt (optional for texture)
1 tbsp. Chinese five-spice
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar (or sugar plus 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract)
2 tbsp. chestnut paste (optional)
The Fruity Bits:
5 large, firm, tasty baking apples (I used Honey Crisps), cored and sliced
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tbsp. Chinese five-spice
a few splashes of a fruity liquid
Place apples in a baking dish. Mix with cranberry sauce and five-spice. Bake, covered with foil, at 350° for 20-30 min. or until apples are translucent and soft. Moisten with splashes of fruity liquid throughout baking time.
Pudding assembly:
Place Bready Bits in a greased/buttered pan. Sprinkle another tbsp. of Chinese five-spice over the top. Pour the thoroughly mixed Pudding Bits over the Bready and Fruity Bits, topping up the pan with more milk or cream if needed for fullness.
Allow to sit and absorb for 1 hour, stirring 2-3 times to make sure all Bready Bits are moistened. Meanwhile, prepare the Fruity Bits. When they are baked, allow them to cool somewhat as the Bready Bits soak up more liquid. Once an hour has passed, mix in about 1 c. of Fruity Bits, more if you like and have room.
Heat oven to 350°F. Place your pan inside a slightly larger, deep pan and fill the outside pan with water to about halfway up the sides of the inner pan. Cover the inner pan with foil or a lid and bake about 40 min. Remove the foil/lid and bake another 20 min. The inside of the pudding should still be moist but have a cakey look to it. You may wish to finish by turning on the broiler for 3 min. to give the top of the pudding a bit of browning.
Creamy Bits:
When you place the pudding in the oven, also place an aluminum mixing bowl and whisk (or whisk attachment for your mixer) in the refrigerator to chill. At the same time, brew 1 c. of Chestnut Tea from Adagio, allow to steep, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill as well.
As you remove the pudding from the oven, also remove your mixing bowl and whisk. Into the bowl place 2 c. whipping cream and whip by hand or with your mixer until soft peaks form. Whisk in between 1/2 and 1 c. of the chilled Chestnut Tea, as well as another 2 tbsp. chestnut paste if you have it. You may wish to add a bit of vanilla sugar as well. Continue to whisk until incorporated into the cream.
Place servings of the pudding onto dessert plates, and top with the chestnut cream. Dust with Chinese five-spice for garnish. Serve warm.



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