Juicy, ripe peaches at the height of stone-fruit season shine in this great summer dessert. "The brandy sauce makes it special, but it's also good for breakfast without the sauce," says reader Sarah Epstein, of Palo Alto, California. "During the rest of the year, I use the basic recipe and substitute other fruits. One of our favorites is sour cherries with dark chocolate chunks."
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for ramekins
8 cups day-old French bread with crust, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups milk
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
6 large peaches, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-in. slices
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 to 4 tbsp. brandy
Sweetened whipped cream
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter 8 ramekins (8 oz. each). Put bread pieces in a large bowl and pour in milk. Let soak, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 6 tbsp. butter and 3/4 cup sugar. Add peaches and cook 1 to 2 minutes to release juices. Strain into a small bowl; reserve juices.
Whisk eggs, 1 cup sugar, the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread and stir to combine. Fold in peaches.
Spoon mixture into ramekins and set in a large roasting pan. Put roasting pan in oven and fill pan with very hot water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake until puddings are puffy and firm when pressed, about 45 minutes.
Simmer reserved juices until steaming. Whisk in brandy. Serve pudding with sauce and whipped cream.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving without whipped cream.