This recipe is a typical sweet hotdish from the area where I live, from Franconia in the northern part of Bavaria, Germany. It can be served as dessert or as main dish and it's the perfect sweet treat for a cold, rainy July sunday, like today. This Cherry Bread Pudding is called Kirschenmichel in most parts of Germany, but in Franconia we call it Kirschenmännla which translates to Little Cherry Man and makes probably no sense at all. ;-)
If you don't like cherries or you can't get any cherries you can also use plums (Pflaumen in German) or prunes (Zwetschgen in German). If you make this Bread Pudding it with plums or prunes we call it Pflaumenmännle here in Franconia - Little Plum Man - which is not to be confused up with the traditional little plum men sold at the Christmas Market in Nuremberg, the Zwetschgenmännle...but, well, this is totally irrelevant for this recipe. All you need to know that you can either make it with cherries or prunes. And that it is delicious both ways!
Ingredients for the Cherry Bread Pudding
for 12x8 inch / 30x22 cm baking dish
makes 6 servings
5 Old Rolls or Buns or 1 French bread (about 9 oz / about 250 g), roughly cut into cubes*
250 ml (1 cup) Whole milk
50 g (about 3 - 4 tbsp) Sugar
2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
350 g (12 oz/about 2 cups) Cherries, pitted (fresh or from the jar)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Ground Cinnamon
1Cut bread roughly into 1 inch / 2,5 cm cubes and fill into large bowl. 2Heat milk with vanilla and ground cinnamon in small saucepan and pour warm milk over the cubed bread. Let sit for 15 minutes. 3Preheat oven at 335°F (170°C). Butter baking dish. 4Separate eggs carefully. Beat egg whites until firm, adding gradually half of the sugar. 5In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with remaining sugar and butter until light and fluffly. 6Pit and drain cherries (if neccessary) and add to the soaked bread. Pour egg-yolk-mixture over bread and cherries and mix carefully. Add egg whites and fold in gently (but very roughly). 7Place everything into buttered baking dish and put into preheated oven. Bake at 335°F (170°C) for 35 to 45 minutes until top turns golden. 8Remove from oven, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. If you like you can serve the Kirschenmännla with vanilla custard sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
*The rolls or the bread does not have to be fresh! It is even better if the bread is already some days old and stale. So this recipe is perfect for using some left over bread. You can even use completely dried up bread but you might have to soak it a little longer and use some more milk than the 250 ml (1 cup) from the recipe. I prefer to use some German style Brötchen or some French Baguette. But you can basically use any kind of bread as long as it soaks up liquids, so no Pumpernickel or similar breads.