Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- April 2012
Raspberry White-Chocolate Bread Pudding
(This is an original recipe, not adapted from any other source. Really.)
Preheat oven to 350, and generously butter a small casserole dish (mine was about 9" x 9" and 2" deep; I recommend using a clear glass dish so you can easily tell if the bottom of the pudding is fully baked before removing it from the oven).
12 oz. frozen raspberries, or about two cups fresh
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a saucepan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture just comes to a gentle boil; lower the heat, stirring periodically, and let it simmer until it thickens and has reduced by about one third. It should look like raspberry jam that's not terribly thick. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Approximately 7 large slices of day-old Italian bread, cut into generous bite-size chunks (I left the crust on. If you prefer not to use the crust, you'll need a couple of more slices and you may want to consider reducing the amount of milk in the recipe a bit.)
1 cup half & half
2/3 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
3/4 of grated/shredded white chocolate, or 1/2 cup of mini-white chocolate chips
In a large bowl, whisk together the half & half, milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, and salt.
Spread half of the bread chunks in your buttered dish. Drizzle half of the milk mixture evenly over the bread, and then pour half of the raspberry sauce evenly over that. Sprinkle with half of the shredded white chocolate. Spread another layer with the rest of the bread chunks. Drizzle with the remaining milk mixture, then the rest of the raspberry sauce. Sprinkle with the remainder of the shredded white chocolate.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it sit for about twenty minutes before baking; this will allow the bread to absorb most of the liquid. (If you want to delay baking it, you can refrigerate it at this point and bake it a few hours later.) Bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the top and bottom look lightly golden and no longer obviously wet.
While the pudding is cooling on a rack, whip some cream to serve along with it. The pudding is best served warm, not steaming hot. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.