Orange Blossom Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce


For soaking cranberries:
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup orange blossom water* or orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
vegetable spray
1 pound bread cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
8 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange extract
1 tablespoon orange peel, freshly grated
1 cup orange juice or orange blossom water*
1 orange for garnish
*Orange Blossom Water
4 to 6 orange blossoms
1 cup boiling water


Orange Blossom Water: Infuse the orange blossoms by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over them, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Two days before: Plump up the cranberries by soaking in orange juice/orange blossom water and Grand Marnier. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Night Before: Coat a 9x13-inch pan with vegetable spray. Place cubed bread in the bottom of the pan.

Strain and reserve the liquid from the cranberries. Dry cranberries thoroughly with paper towel and mix with ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Beat eggs, yolks, and remaining brown sugar until very frothy. Add milk, cream, vanilla, orange extract, orange peel, and orange juice/orange blossom water (if available). Beat until frothy. The longer you beat it, the better: Make sure there are bubbles formed on top of the egg mixture. Pour ½ of the egg mixture over the bread, sprinkle cranberries evenly over the bread. Add remaining egg mixture, making sure all the bread is covered. Grate more nutmeg over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning: Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 9x13-inch pan in an 11 x13-inch pan. Fill larger pan with warm water to ¾ of the way up the 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into 12 squares, pour Grand Marnier Sauce over and serve hot.

Grand Marnier Sauce


12 servings

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