Cherry Bread Pudding
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
This is inspired by a recipe by the French baker Jacquy Pfeiffer, whose French Pastry School in Chicago is the only school of its kind in the country. Jacquy’s recipe, called a bettelmann, is a traditional Alsatian dish made with day-old brioche. This version, made with regular or whole-wheat bread, is not as rich.
4 ounces stale white or whole-wheat bread, crusts removed (weigh after removing crusts)
1 cup low-fat milk (2 percent)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Softened butter for the baking dish
3 eggs, separated
50 grams (1/2 cup) almond flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kirsch (optional)
2 tablespoons mild honey, like clover
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 pound cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch squares. Combine the milk and vanilla and toss with the bread in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch ceramic tart pan or 2-quart baking dish. Arrange the pitted cherries in the dish.
3. Remove the soaked bread from the refrigerator and beat with a whisk or an immersion blender until it becomes a mush. Beat in the egg yolks, almond flour, cinnamon, kirsch if using, and honey.
4. In a clean, dry bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, begin beating the egg yolks on low speed. Gradually add the sugar, turn up the speed to high and whip until the egg whites form a soft meringue, about 1 minute. Be careful not to overbeat, as you do not want the mixture to dry out. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the bread mixture. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
5. Bake 40 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator, and I like to eat leftovers for breakfast with yogurt. You can warm it in a 400-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 251 calories; 9 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 96 milligrams cholesterol; 35 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 170 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (8 servings): 188 calories; 7 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 72 milligrams cholesterol; 26 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 128 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 7 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”