Fruit Croissant Bread Pudding is a variation of an old-fashioned dessert that still rings true. As you may have surmised, this version uses rich croissants instead of bread. Fresh or frozen mixed fruit works beautifully, so you can make this year-round and not depend upon the season. Put it together the night before, if you wish, and bake the next day. You will need a minimum of 1 hour for the croissant chunks to soak up the sweet sauce before baking. The streusel is the icing on the cake, but you may drizzle a simple glaze on top and skip the streusel. Check my notes below before you begin.
Fruit Croissant Bread Pudding Recipe
2 cans (8-count each) standard-size buttery croissant rolls
2 cups fresh or frozen chopped mixed fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, etc. (See Notes)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided use
3/4 cup whole milk
5 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 4 Tablespoons) cold butter
Bake the croissant rolls as directed on the container. Let cool to room temperature. (This may be done up to 3 days in advance.)
Spray a 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic casserole dish with butter-flavored oil.
Using a serrated knife, cut (or tear) the croissants into 1-inch pieces and place half in prepared casserole. (You will need a total of about 8 cups of cubes.) Top with the chopped fruit and 1/2 cup of the pecans or walnuts. Top with remaining croissant cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the baking mix. Pour over the croissants and fruit, making sure all of the bread gets a coating. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours to soak up the liquid.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F.
While the oven is heating, prepare the streusel topping. Whisk together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to work in the butter until crumbly. Do not overwork or the butter will melt. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before cutting to serve.
Yield: 24 to 36 servings, depending upon cut size
• If you use frozen fruit, do not thaw before mixing into the bread pudding.
• If you use frozen fruit and plan to let it sit for longer than 2 hours, thaw the fruit first, and drain off any liquid. Otherwise, the pudding will be mushy in the center.
• Dried fruit may be substituted for fresh or frozen fruit. Melons are not a good candidate because they contain too much water.
• Artisan bread may be substituted for half or all of the croissants.
Fruit Croissant Bread Pudding Recipe Photo © 2017 Peggy Filippone