Feel free to replace the dates with raisins or dried cranberries, or leave the dried fruit out. Replace the pecans with walnuts if you prefer them. The croissant crumbs give the pudding a rich and buttery flavor, but good quality bread can be used as well. Brioche is an excellent choice for a bread pudding.
- 5 1/2 to 6 cups torn croissant (or 8 ounces bread crumbs)
- 1/2 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
- 1 cup dates (pitted and chopped)
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half (or light cream, or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups milk)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- For the Brown Sugar Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 350 F.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, toss the croissant crumbs with pecans, dates, melted butter, and spices.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and brown sugar; add vanilla and blend in the sweet potatoes.
Pour the sweet potato mixture over the bread crumbs and stir until well blended. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the bread pudding mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set.
Serve with the brown sugar sauce (below) or another dessert sauce.
Brown Sugar Sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the dash of salt and 1/2 cup of heavy cream and bring to a boil. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Cool slightly before serving.