Another in the continuing saga of maple syrup-based recipes that come out at the grey cottage during 'Sugar Season'... I can get away with making this rich dessert, as we are jumping into the car to make a quick junket to Brooklyn to deliver 'apartment warming' presents to daughter Kate and give ourselves a bit of a respite from 'cabin fever'. Just look at the back yard view! It's March 1st, for crying out loud! Wouldn't you have 'cabin fever' too ?!?
This is an easy recipe that comes from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Clay Pot Cooking, nothing more than a jazzed up version of bread pudding. I have used my pretty enameled cast-iron casserole pan. It's perfect with the golden brown of the syrup and the brown croissants and pecans ... easy, easy, easy! Served with a softly sweet whipped cream and a cup of tea, it is just decadence!
Line up your cast of characters ...
Use day old croissants ... hopefully, you had some fresh with your morning coffee. I did ... with that lemon essense honey butter that I made last week.
Slice the croissants into thick slices on the diagonal so you can butter them up a bit.
Lay the buttered slices in the pan butter-side up. Put them in willy nilly so you have nooks and crannies for the pecans, raisins, and pouring holes for the custard mix.
Sprinkle the soaked raisins (did I say brandy-soaked?) and pecans over the top of the croissants. I love the colors of this dish!
Whip the custard blend together and pour it over the top, being sure to soak the croissants from the top down. Then, leave the pan for 20 to 30 minutes to let the croissants get good and mushy with the custard. It smells so good at this point!
Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoonsful of raw sugar over the top and bake the pudding covered for 40 minutes. Then uncover it and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes until the custard is set at the center of the dish.
Let the pudding cool a bit before serving with whipped cream and drizzled maple syrup (just a bit on each serving!). We traveled with warm pudding and then re-warmed it up a bit later in the evening when we came back from dinner at the corner place near Kate's new apartment. It was awesome!