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Christmas Bread Pudding


9 slices whole wheat bread
8 slices white bread
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 cups light cream
⅔ cup dark raisins
⅓ cup whole candied red cherries, halved
cup cream sherry
1 cup water
2 egg yolks, beaten
cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cream sherry
⅓ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoons vanilla
⅔ cup golden raisins
teaspoon vanilla
cup whipping cream


Serves: 12


Remove crusts from bread. Cover bread slices with paper towels and let stand overnight.

Custard: in a heavy medium saucepan combine three egg yolks, light cream, sugar and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat. Continue cooking until mixture coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat; cool at once by setting saucepan in a sink of ice water and stirring for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Cover surface with clear plastic wrap.

In small bowl combine raisins. Place cherries in another bowl. Heat ¾ cup sherry till warm. Pour ⅔ cup sherry over cherries. Set aside. Cut bread into ½-inch cubes (about 9 cups). In a bowl, fold bread into custard, until coated.

Grease a 6 ½ cup tower mould (without tube). Drain raisins and cherries, reserving sherry. Arrange ¼ of cherries in bottom of the mould, sprinkle ⅓ cup raisins into the mould. Add ¼ of bread cube mixture. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons reserved sherry. Repeat layers three times, arranging cherries and raisins near edges of the mould. Lightly press last layer with back of spoon. Pour remaining reserved sherry over all. Cover mould tightly with foil, set mould in cooker.

For a 5-6qt cooker, pour 1½ cups water around mould (for a 3 ½ - 4 qt cooker use 1 cup water). Cover, cook on low 5 ½ hours or until pudding springs back when touched.

Meanwhile make the sherry sauce: in a mixing bowl combine 2 egg yolks, powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons sherry and ¼ teaspoons vanilla in small bowl, beat whipping cream until small peaks form. Gently fold whip cream into egg yolk mixture. Cover and chill until serving time. Remove mould from cooker, let stand 10 minutes. Carefully unmould to serving platter. Serve warm with sherry sauce.

Alternative: Remove pudding from mould, cover and chill. To serve, return pudding to same mould. Cover with foil, place in cooker. Pour 1 cup water around mould. Cover, cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, or until warm. Let stand 10 minutes, unmold and serve with sauce.

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