Fresh Fig Bread Pudding

Circle B Kitchen

Adapted from a recipe in the SF Chronicle

3 1/2 tablespoons butter

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 to 12 slices day-old country-style bread

1 pint fresh figs, stemmed and sliced in thirds lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 2-quart baking dish.

Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the vanilla, eggs, all but 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt. Mix well. Add the bread and let stand until it is thoroughly softened, about 10 to 20 minutes, depending upon the dryness of the bread.

Arrange a layer of bread in the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover it with a layer of figs and then drizzle with some of the egg-milk mixture. Repeat twice, pushing the layers down as you go and ending with a layer of figs, putting them cut-side down. Add the remaining egg-milk mixture. Sprinkle with the reserved 6 tablespoons sugar. Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons butter into small pieces and scatter them over the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until the pudding puffs and turns golden, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8