Paul Grosz favors a simple, homey approach in his presentation, which he demonstrates in this bread pudding.
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 large egg whites
5 cups (1-inch) cubed French bread
6 (1-ounce) slices petite crème cheese or Brie cheese
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup passionfruit puree
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare pudding, combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in bread cubes. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place bread mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
To prepare sauce, combine sugar and puree in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until candy thermometer registers 238°. Remove from heat; gradually stir in 1/3 cup orange juice. Serve warm with pudding. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Note: Passionfruit puree and petite crème cheese are available in specialty food stores. You can make your own puree with fresh passionfruit. Puree the pulp of a dozen passionfruit in a food processor for about 1 cup. You can also order petite crème cheese from The Great American Cheese Collection; call 773-779-