French Toast Bread Pudding with Crunchy Almond Streusel

Serves 8

Talk about a brunch dish worthy of company! This over-the-top bread pudding is the perfect item to impress friends coming over for breakfast; that said, it’s just as fantastic savored on an indulgent, lazy morning with the family. If you prefer, you can cut the recipe in half and bake the bread pudding in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.

Preparation Method

Variation: Raspberry
Omit the streusel. Omit the nutmeg and almond extract. Just before baking, sprinkle 2 cups fresh raspberries over the top of the bread pudding, pressing some of them into the custard. Sprinkle 3⁄4 cup coarse raw sugar (such as turbinado) over the berries before baking. Increase the baking time to 50 minutes. For the syrup, substitute 1 cup seedless raspberry jam for the maple syrup and omit the brown sugar.

Omit the streusel. Increase the vanilla extract to 4 teaspoons and omit the cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Substitute 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and 1⁄4 teaspoon orange oil for the almond extract. Sprinkle 3⁄4 cup coarse raw sugar (such as turbinado) over the top before baking.

Like most bread puddings, you can also assemble this one the night before, then just sprinkle it with streusel before baking.

For the best results when baking, be sure the rack is in the middle position. If you’re working with a tall pan, such as a Bundt pan, use the bottom position.