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Peaches & Cream Bread Pudding

When I think of winter comfort foods, desserts aren't the first things to come to mind. Usually I think of hearty dinners like beefy stews, cheesy baked pasta or a big pot of chili. But, when you think about it, bread pudding fits quite snugly into the category of cold weather comfort foods. It's the kind of stick-to-your-ribs dessert that warms the belly and satisfies the sweet tooth at the same time. Of course one of the greatest things about bread pudding is that it's also a tasty way to make use of canned fruit.

My kids adore the fresh tree fruit I can each year, like sliced peaches, apricots and pears. Peaches I buy by the case at the end of the season when they're juicy and ripe and the prices are at their lowest. We love them so much the supply of canned peaches I put up late last summer ran out before Christmas, so I gladly grabbed a couple cans of commercially-canned peaches when I saw them on sale over the weekend. I thought I'd just bring them home and stuff them in the pantry for snack time another day until I saw loaves of white bread on sale in the bakery for a dollar. Suddenly, bread pudding was on my mind. Peaches and cream bread pudding! This is how my brain works. It makes planning for grocery shopping tricky.

This ever-so-tasty bread pudding starts with cubes of bread topped with chunks of peaches. Then the custard mixture - made with eggs, sugar, milk, heavy cream, vanilla and cinnamon - is poured over top for maximum creamy goodness. The result is so heavenly it has gone straight to the top of my list of winter comfort food desserts.

Speaking of comfort foods, I'll be giving away a copy of the brand new cookbook Brown Eggs and Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque later this week, and there are multiple comfort food recipes in there you'll just love. Come back on Thursday for your chance to win.

For now, scroll below to get the recipe for my peaches and cream bread pudding and treat yourself to this satisfying dessert...

Peaches & Cream Bread Pudding
Makes 8 servings

8 cups cubed white bread
1 can (398 mL) sliced peaches, drained and chopped
4 eggs
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream (35%)
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

Add the bread cubes to a well-greased 9x9 baking dish. Dot the surface with the peaches, snuggling a few down into the bread cubes here and there.

To make the custard mixture, whisk the eggs with the sugar in a large mixing bowl until lightly frothy. Stir in the milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour slowly over the bread cubes. Using the back of a spoon, press any bread cubes that are still dry down into the custard mixture.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

SERVING TIP: If desired, dust with icing sugar for a pretty frosted look and serve with real whipped cream for maximum peaches and cream pleasure.

Don't you just love bread pudding? What other desserts do you think of as comfort food desserts?