Heavy on fruit and enriched with cream and an extra egg yolk, this summery bread pudding pairs fragrant mahlep with stone fruit. Use torn pieces of bread (including crust, which adds texture) from a substantial loaf that’s gone stale (or heat torn pieces of bread in a 200°F oven until the bread is completely dry). Substitute nectarines or apricots for peaches, or use a mix of fruits. If you prefer your bread pudding with less browned surface area, bake it in a 2-quart soufflé dish (allow an extra 5 minutes or so in the oven for the custard in the middle to cook through).
Serve slightly warm, at room temperature, or straight from the refrigerator (the pudding firms and becomes quite dense as it cools) with cream, ice cream, or nothing at all.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until creamy. Whisk in the brown and white sugar, and then add the mahlep, nutmeg, and salt. Add the milk and cream and mix until the ingredients are combined. Add the bread and turn with a spatula to coat each piece. Set aside for 30 minutes, turning the bread and gently pressing it into the liquid several times.
- Place the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan or dish, a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, or a 2-quart soufflé dish.
- While the bread is soaking, peel the peaches or nectarines (apricots need not be peeled) and cut (over a sieve or colander if it is especially juicy) into thick (½- to ¾- inch) slices.
- Turn the bread in the milk mixture once more. Gently transfer the fruit to the mixing bowl and and turn once or twice to combine with the bread. Use a ladle to spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and pour over any remaining liquid.
- Bake the bread pudding until the custard is set (test with the tip of a knife) and the top is golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. If the top browns too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the dish.
- Let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Robyn Eckhardt is the author of Istanbul and Beyond and co-publishes the award-winning food blog EatingAsia. Follower her on Twitter at @EatingAsia and on Instagram at @IstanbulandBeyond.