- 8 cups (1-inch cubes) of challah, day-old
- 1 cup chopped dried dates
- 1½ cups chopped fresh Majool dates
- 6 large eggs +2 large egg yolks
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 3½ cups half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Powdered sugar, for decoration
- 1 cup Creme Fraiche or 1 defrosted pint Dule de Leche ice cream, for serving
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread and the dates in the dish, making sure that they are evenly distributed.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Add the half and half, reducing the speed to low, and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and nutmeg and mix to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Ladle the custard over the bread. Let the pudding sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to help the bread absorb the custard, occasionally pushing the bread down with a wooden spoon.
- Place the pudding in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Open the oven, using heavy oven mitts and with a large spoon, push the bread down. The remaining liquid custard will rise. Spoon the custard evenly over the bread slices. Bake for about 15-20 more minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pudding from the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and let rest about 10 minutes. Spoon onto dessert plates and serve with creme fraiche or softened Dulce de Leche ice cream on the side. It is also excellent served cold the next day.
Serves 6 to 8 people.