Peach season is winding down, and you may be looking for ideas on how to use up the last of your bushel (if you haven’t already eaten every last one in its wonderful naked form). This dish marries two of my favorite things: seasonal fruit and bread pudding.
I fell in love with bread pudding after trying it at some of the quintessential New England restaurants in the area. If you have never tried this rich, comforting dessert, I would try to rectify that immediately. Once I learned how easy (and frugal) bread pudding was to make I was hooked. Don’t let the title ‘Peach Brioche’ slow you down AT ALL because you can use any good bread that you were smart enough to throw in your freezer or that you have on hand that is stale – french bread, sour dough, challah. All good. Typically recipes require the bread to be stale so that it soaks up the milk/cream/egg mixture better. It seems to be the perfect consistency when it has been in the freezer for a few months too.
I got into the habit of grabbing a loaf of brioche whenever I saw it at the store because it makes the best french toast – I love having a loaf in the freezer. So when I saw this recipe for bread pudding from a farm up north (that I can’t remember the name of, sorry farm!), I knew I wanted to make it with brioche even though they suggested french bread or sour dough. This decision did not disappoint – the brioche made it so velvety, rich and decadent, I would go for it every time.
But bread pudding is so flexible that use whatever bread vehicle you have on hand. In that spirit, when I went to make this I realized I didn’t have whole milk or cream, which really make the dish so rich, thick and custard-like. But betting on how flexible bread pudding is I went ahead and just used the milk I had in the fridge (skim or 1%). It was still so so good, soft and fluffy with just milk, so don’t let a lack of cream stop you from making it either.
The star of the dish though is fresh peaches. Our neighbor gave us so many we couldn’t eat them fast enough.
I love how the maple syrup and cinnamon are such light, subtle notes in this dish. I would never have though to pair them with peaches and yet they all have such a mellow, delicate, sweet perfumes that they help elevate this dish. Feel free to adjust the maple syrup to more or less depending on how sweet you like it (or just serve it with some on the side and eaters can adjust to their preference).
If you don’t make it in time for peach season, the fruit in this dish is very versatile – try pears and cranberries with perhaps white sugar as the sweetener, or plums and brown sugar, or even bananas and caramel or chocolate. But if you still have peaches, trust that this dish does justice to this fruit season that closes out summer and ushers in fall.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
Peach Brioche Bread Pudding (printer version here):
Brioche, French, or Sourdough Bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
3 c. peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 c. maple syrup
2 c. whole milk (can use skim or 2% it will just be less creamy)
1/2 c heavy cream (can replace with milk it will just be less creamy)
Dash of cinnamon
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. maple or lt brown sugar
½ t. cinnamon
1 stick butter, cut into small cubes
Grease bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Line bottom with cubes of bread crumbs. Lay peaches on top.
Mix together all wet ingredients: eggs, maple syrup, milk, cream, and cinnamon. Pour over top of bread and peaches. Soak all night, or 4-6 hours if necessary.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. While it is cooking mix together crumble topping: flour, light brown sugar or maple sugar, cinnamon, and butter cubes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add crumble topping. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with extra maple syrup if desired, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.