12 oz dense bread or dinner rolls, cut into 1” cubes (340gr)
½ cup dried cranberries (60gr)
½ cup chopped walnuts (62gr)
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk (1360ml)
1 cup real maple syrup (240 ml)
½ tsp. cinnamon (2gr)
1 tsp. vanilla (5ml)
1 stick butter (4oz/115gr)
½ cup real maple syrup
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup heavy cream*
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (15ml)
2 tbsp. bourbon or rum – (30ml) optional
Place half of the cubed bread in an oven proof 2qt (2lt) baking dish. Over the bread cubes, sprinkle over half of the cranberries, and then half of the walnuts. Add the remaining bread cubes on top, and then top with the remaining cranberries and walnuts.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, syrup, cinnamon and vanilla, and continue to beat until the mixture is well combined. Pour over the bread in the baking dish. Allow the dish to rest for 20-60 minutes, so that the bread can absorb the mixture. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
Bake the bread pudding for 40-45 minutes. While it cools, you can make the hard sauce.
To make hard sauce, heat the butter in a small skillet, stirring gently until it begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and bourbon, and remove from heat. Serve warm with the bread pudding.
*Quite often at the ranch, I run out of an ingredient and have to substitute. In this recipe, I had success using whole milk when I ran out of heavy cream for the hard sauce. However, when using milk instead of cream, whisk in a tablespoonfull of powdered sugar to thicken the sauce. This step isn’t necessary when sticking to the original recipe.