I love leftovers. I love the satisfaction of knowing nothing has gone to waste, and the way the flavors mellow and develop after a night or so in the fridge.
The other night, I bought a loaf of French bread to go with dinner. It was the perfect complement to the spaghetti I was making, but we only ate about half the loaf, and it seemed a shame to let such delicious bread dry out, only to be tossed like a giant brick into the trash after few days. So the next day, I looked around my mostly-empty cupboards and came up with a few other leftovers. Voila! (That’s the extent of my knowledge of the French language, to go with the French bread.)
Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding
- 1/2 large loaf of day-old French bread (or any other kind of bread)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup Craisins, or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Cream or Half & Half to garnish, if desired.
- In a cup or small bowl, pour the orange juice over the cranberries, to start plumping them up.
- Preheat oven to 325. Spray or butter a casserole dish.
- Cut or rip bread into 1 inch pieces. Toss into the casserole dish.
- Mix eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla. Add cranberries and orange juice.
- Pour mixture evenly over the bread pieces.
- Bake 1 hour or so, until tops of bread turn golden brown.
- Serve immediately, drizzled with cream.
To reheat later, set oven to 325 and remove casserole from fridge for 30 minutes. Then bake for 15-20 minutes.
Now, I would argue that with all those eggs, fruit, milk, and bread, this should be classified as a healthy breakfast food, rather than dessert, but then I’ve been known to have chocolate cake for breakfast, and bacon and eggs for dinner, so you probably don’t want to take my advice on that point.
Anyway, whenever you choose to eat it, Bon Appetit! Oh look, turns out I do know more French!