Bread Pudding with Dried Cranberries, Vanilla, and Mint
- SERVINGS: 6
- 1 cup dried cranberries (about 5 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 5 fresh mint sprigs
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
- Six 2 1/2-inch rounds of challah bread
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- Put the dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set aside to plump for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, lemon zest, orange zest and 4 mint sprigs. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and add the bean to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat and stir for a few minutes to cool slightly. Whisk in the sugar and the gelatin and set aside for 3 minutes, then whisk again. Strain the mixture into a heatproof measuring cup.
- Drain the cranberries and divide them among six 1/2-cup ramekins set on a baking sheet. Stir the milk mixture once and pour it over the cranberries, filling the ramekins. Top each with a challah round. Bake the puddings for 20 minutes, or until the custard is bubbling and still wobbly. Remove from the oven.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the puddings for about 30 seconds just to toast the bread rounds. Let the custards cool, then refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 but not more than 6 hours.
- Just before serving, melt the raspberry jam in a small nonreactive skillet over low heat. Run a knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the bread puddings and invert them onto dessert plates. Spoon a little of the raspberry jam over and around them. Garnish each plate with a few mint leaves from the remaining sprig and serve.