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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
When it comes to desserts that fall into the Seriously Simple category, this one may be the winner. As versatile as your imagination, it’s a comfort food that seems to satisfy all generations. This particular version is based on a sticky toffee pudding I enjoyed in Florida. Just remember to think ahead, since you need to use day-old bread for best results. Dates are available year-round, although their peak season is from October to January. For a wonderful sauce that takes no time, soften a pint of dulce de leche ice cream and whisk it in a bowl. Spoon the melted ice cream over the warm pudding for an extraordinary taste sensation.
1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes and dried and fresh dates in the dish, making sure that they are evenly distributed.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture becomes thick and pale in color, about 3 minutes. Add the half-and-half, reducing the speed to low, and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and nutmeg and mix to combine.
3. Ladle the custard over the bread and dates. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to help let the bread absorb the custard, occasionally pushing the bread down with a wooden spoon.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the pudding for 20 to 25 minutes. Open the oven and, wearing oven mitts and using a large spoon, push the bread down. The remaining liquid custard will rise. Spoon the custard evenly over the bread slices. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Remove the pudding from the oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto dessert plates and serve with crème fraîche on the side.
May be prepared up to 4 hours ahead, covered, and left at room temperature. It can also be made 1 day ahead and served chilled or reheated.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and does not include Confectioners' Sugar for dusting.
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