Challah and Apricot Bread Pudding
1 loaf good quality challah bread*; sliced and cubed
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
3 cups milk**
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
Place cubed bread and chopped apricots in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over bread and let soak for 15 minutes, pressing down on bread to make sure all is submerged and soaked.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan and place in oven until butter is melted (watch carefully, the butter will melt quickly and you don't want it to burn). Remove pan from oven and tilt back and forth to coat with melted butter.
Pour bread mixture into buttered pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. This dessert is absolutely delicious served with freshly whipped cream, sweetened with powdered sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
*The pudding turns out much better if the bread has been kept in the fridge for a couple of days beforehand. Fresh bread tends to yield a more mushy/soggy texture.
**Any type of milk/half and half/cream will work, but the higher the fat content of the milk, the more rich and creamy the dessert, we use whole goat's milk and have achieved great results.