Updated 12/11/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Date and Challah Bread Pudding with Toasted Salted Almonds
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6 cups 1-inch cubed Challah bread
1 1/2 cups pitted and rough chopped fresh dates (see hints below)
for the custard:
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream (plus more for whipped cream)
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
pinch ground nutmeg
for the toasted almonds:
approx 1 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter one 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Cut the Challah into 1-inch cubes and pit and rough chop the dates
Use a large mixing bowl to make the custard by combining 6 large eggs with 2 cups milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup light brown sugar, 2 tsp vanilla and a little pinch of ground nutmeg and whisk it up.
Add the chopped dates and fold those in.....and add the cubed bread and fold that in and let it soak for a few minutes.
Then transfer that to the prepared pan and place it onto the center rack of the preheated oven.
Make sure the dates are evenly distributed throughout the bread pudding and, while that's baking, use heavy bottomed pan on the stovetop to toast a handful of sliced almonds, in a tsp of vegetable oil, until they brown up a bit....then season them with salt to taste and take them out of the pan to cool.
The bread pudding will take just about 55 minutes to one hour to bake and it will puff up a bit and be a nice golden brown on top when it's done.
You could use about 1 cup of chopped dried dates instead of the 1 1/2 cups fresh chopped dates.
Use any 3 - 4 day old white bread in place of the Challah.