Paul Grosz favors a simple, homey approach in his presentation, which he demonstrates in this bread pudding.
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-