Preheat oven to 400°F - convection if you have it.
Core, peel & cut persimmons into 8 pieces. Place in an ovenproof baking dish. Drizzle with the honey and dot with butter. Roast until juices start to be released and persimmons start to get a bit of color - about 30mins. Set aside to cool – you can do this the day ahead and put them in the fridge overnight. Make sure you keep all of the released juice/syrup.
1 loaf Challah bread
1 loaf of fruit & nut Levain (we chose Apricot Almond)
12 lg eggs
1c Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Grand Marnier***
1tbsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
1tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp maple Syrup
Roasted Persimmons* (as above)
Reduce oven heat to 375°F.
Slice the challah and levain into medium-thick slices. If the crust is hard on the levain you can cut into half slices. In a large baking dish layer challah, levain and reserved persimmons until the dish is full (you may not use all the bread – that’s okay, but use all of the persimmons). Layer most of the bread first and then tuck the persimmon pieces in the gaps. Drizzle any collected juices over the top.
In a large bowl, crack eggs and add cream, vanilla, Grand Marnier and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined. Slowly pour over the bread/persimmon mixture, making sure that you get some into all the crevices. The custard will likely come up ¾ of the way up the sides.
Grate about 1tsp of fresh nutmeg over the top. Carefully press down on the top of the bread compressing it, but being careful not to press so hard that the custard overflows – which should be a danger**. Finally drizzle 2 tbsp of maple syrup over the top and dot with 2tbsp of butter. Let the pan sit for 30mins to an hour before baking if you can.
Bake at 375° for 45 mins or until done. Serve with brandy & caramel sauce and freshly whipped cream or ice cream.
**If that’s not a danger you might need more custard, if so you can break a few more eggs, whisk in some cream and top it off (like 2-4 eggs & 1/4c of cream).
*** If you don’t like Grand Marnier, try Rum or Kahlua, or leave it out.
I’ve made Bread Pudding for a couple of Thanksgivings to rave reviews, so here is this year’s recipe. The idea is to take a rustic style bread and pair it with a rich tender bread (like challah or brioche) and use seasonal fruit.
As the bread I used had nuts in it already I didn’t add more but feel free to add dried fruit & nuts or use another seasonal fruit like pears or apples (though you won’t have to roast them first). The measurements should be about the same – but remember to add some sweetness if you use a non-roasted fruit (or add the 1/3c honey).