|Apricot-Mascarpone Bread Pudding|
It's too bad I had to eat my loaf of braided apricot bread because it really was a work of art. I had a slice, just to determine what I could match it up with: I considered something earthy, like brie.
Then at the grocery store I saw a carton of mascarpone. A light bulb when off, an aha! moment occurred.
And that was that.
I found a recipe to inspire me, and I held my breath while I adapted it to my needs.
Apricot-Mascarpone Bread Pudding (makes 4 servings)
- 1 10-inch loaf braided apricot bread, sliced
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, a room temperature
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, cut into small pieces
- dash cinnamon
- dash allspice
- dash sea salt*
Cut or bread into cubes into a large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, blend softened mascarpone cheese with milk, egg yolks, sugar and flavor extracts. Cut apricots and cranberries and mix those with the liquid. Stir in the spices. Pour the mixture into the bowl of bread chunks and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Do not chill.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease four single-serving (six ounce) baking dishes. When the bread and cheese-egg mixture has finished soaking, spoon the mix into the baking dishes.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. When the bread puddings are firm, but not overly brown, remove from oven.
You may serve warm, with whipper cream. They un=molded perfectly, so you could use that approach once they are cool enough to handle.
I was going for a flavor not unlike the delectable taste of panetonne. Next time, I think I'll add lemon zest.
*It seems that a dash of sea salt enhances the sweetness by providing a faint counterpoint.
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