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Fig-Walnut Pudding

Yield Makes 8 servings
Challah is a braided Jewish egg bread. You can substitute any braided loaf or soft French bread.


  • 12 to 14 dried figs
  • 8 to 10 (1/2-inch) challah bread slices
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Rum Sauce (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Place figs in a heatproof bowl with boiling water to cover; let stand 20 minutes or until plump. Drain figs, and slice.

  2. Place bread and walnuts in a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan; bake at 500° for 3 to 4 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven, and set aside. Reduce heat to 350°.

  3. Heat milk, cream, and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (Do not boil.)

  4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; slowly whisk in milk mixture.

  5. Layer half of bread and walnuts evenly in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish or 10-inch pieplate, slightly overlapping slices; layer half of figs evenly over bread. Pour half of milk mixture evenly over figs. Repeat procedure with remaining bread, figs, and milk mixture. Press lightly with a spatula. Sprinkle walnuts and remaining 1/4 cup sugar evenly over top.

  6. Cover loosely with foil, leaving corners uncovered to brown edges (if using a pieplate, loosely cover with foil, allowing edges to brown).

  7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, or until set. Remove foil, and bake 15 more minutes. Serve pudding warm with Rum Sauce, if desired.

Jeffrey's, Austin, Texas