Cranberry-Pecan Bread Pudding with Bacon

A good loaf of cranberry-nut bread from a bakery has so much flavor that there's no need to trick it up with lots of ingredients. As the pudding bakes, the bread becomes almost custardlike, with a crispy brown top.

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  • Servings: 12
KEY: Fall, Winter, Test Kitchen, Baking, Christmas, Dinner Party, Holiday Open House, Thanksgiving, American, Casseroles & Gratins, Puddings & Custards, Side Dishes, Make Ahead

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Ingredients

  • Two 1-pound loaves of cranberry-pecan bread, bottom crusts removed, the rest of the loaf cut into 1-inch cubes (12 cups)
  • 1 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 4 cups Turkey Stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally until browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate and pour off all but 1/4 cup of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the sage and thyme. Scrape the onion mixture into a large bowl and stir in the toasted bread cubes, bacon and Turkey Stock. Season with salt and pepper, then add the beaten eggs and stir well. Let the mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and brush the top with the melted butter.
  3. Cover the cranberry-pecan bread pudding with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until just set. Remove the foil and bake until golden, about 40 minutes longer. Let the bread pudding rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The cranberry-pecan bread pudding can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Contributed By Photo © Pernille Pedersen Published November 2006

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