Folks usually turn to peach crisp, pie, or cobbler recipes when it comes to baking with fresh peaches. Try a different approach with a peach schnapps-soaked bread pudding studded with dulce de leche and roasted peaches, then use the leftover schnapps in a Sex on the Beach cocktail.
Game plan: When making the custard (step 1), you do not have to squeeze the bread if you are going to let it soak for more than 3 hours.
Make sure your baking dish is at least 2 inches deep, because the custard will expand while baking.
This recipe was featured as part of our Father’s Day Grilled Paella Feast.
- Yields: 10 to 12 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr, plus 1 to 4 hrs soaking time and 2 1/2 hrs baking and cooling time
- 12 large eggs
- 4 cups (1 quart) heavy cream
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup peach schnapps
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
- 1 (1-pound) loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds peaches or nectarines (about 5 medium)
- Butter, for coating the baking dish
- 1 cup dulce de leche
- Whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, schnapps, and salt in a large bowl until the eggs are broken up and the mixture is evenly combined. Add the bread and mix well with your hands, gently squeezing the bread (but see “Game plan” note above). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Halve, pit, and slice the peaches or nectarines into sixths. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until soft and slightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on the baking sheet on a wire rack. If you’re not using the roasted peaches right away, refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake the bread pudding.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and arrange one rack in the middle and one in the lower third. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack (it will catch any drips from the bread pudding while baking). Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
- Remove the bread mixture from the refrigerator, add the roasted peaches, and mix until the peaches are evenly distributed. Pour the bread-peach mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Drop tablespoon-sized dollops of the dulce de leche evenly over the bread mixture, pushing on them to slightly submerge.
- Cover the pudding with foil and bake on the middle rack until the custard around the outer 2 inches is set but the center is still slightly jiggly, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the surface is browned in some spots, about 30 minutes more. Remove to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.