I hesitated ever so briefly about sharing this dessert with you. But, then I decided that you all need to know about it and its nutty, caramel-y awesomeness. So, I’m sharing it but with a warning. This thing is dangerous.
It’s packed with pecans and brown sugar and a hint of cinnamon. Then, just for good measure, it’s topped with a buttery, brown sugar-y, nutty crisp topping. That all sounds pretty amazing, right? But, wait. Let’s just drizzle a little caramel and pecan sauce on top. See what I mean? Dangerous.
One of the beauties of bread pudding is how easy it is to make. This one is no exception. Sure, there are three components to make, but each of them mix up quickly. You just need to plan ahead a bit to allow the pudding to sit for an hour before baking.
I love this dessert for a crowd. You can feed so very many people with this thing. It’s so rich and decadent that small slices are plenty. I’m thinking we may need to make new friends just so I can give more of it away. If your crowd is a bit smaller, you can easily half the recipe and make it in an 8-inch round pan.
I am quite the fan of bread pudding under the most normal circumstances. But, this one? This is in a category all by itself.
- 8 large eggs
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 16-ounce loaf challah bread, cubed
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried dates, chopped*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
To make the bread pudding:
Grease a 9"x 13"x 2" baking pan or other baking pan with 3-quart capacity.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add half-and-half, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined.
Fold in cubed bread, pecans, and dates.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
To make the topping:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Mix with a pastry blender or a fork until combined and crumbs have formed. Mix in pecans.
Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. Cool slightly before serving.
To make the sauce:
Place half-and-half, brown sugar, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 4 minutes.
Stir in pecans, vanilla, and salt. Continue to boil for 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
Drizzle over servings of bread pudding.
*Substitute any dried fruit or feel free to omit.
Recipe adapted from Taste of the South.