I got lucky because I got some home made Challah bread from Dave, Mel of Cooking Schmooking's husband. He makes great bread so this should be a wonderful bread pudding. This pudding is made with pears and cherries and sounds like a festive dish. This would make a wonderful end to any Hanukkah meal. The pudding is easy and quick to make. It's good especially with a dollop of whipped cream. If your planning on serving this after a meat dish you can use fruit juice like pear or apple juice instead of the milk in keeping with the Kosher laws.
BUTTERED CHALLAH PUDDING WITH PEARS, CHERRIES AND ALMONDS
6-8 Tbsp butter softened
3C milk or fruit juice
4 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
11/4lb left over slightly dry challah bread thickly sliced
1 C dried cherries
3 firm ripe pears- do not peel
1-11/4 C demerara (raw) sugar*
Preheat the oven to 375
toast the Challah bread slices
Butter a 10" square or oval baking dish.
Mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla and almond extract and salt.
Butter the Challah toast then cut the toast into bite size chunks.
Fold the Challah chunks and cherries into the egg and milk mixture so that all the bread is coated.
Core (easiest way is to use a melon baller) and dice the pears.
In the baking dish layer the bread, sugar, almonds and pears ending with a layer of sugar. Dot with butter bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
*if you don't any demerara sugar mix about a 3/4-1C sugar into the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle a light layer of sugar over the top before baking.
Serve at room temperature or cold which is how I prefer it.
See Shankari's and Mel's blogs for more Hanukkah related recipes.