PHIS Caramel Croissant Pudding
Serves 2 or more people, depending on the number of croissants you use: two croissants for two people, three croissants for four people, four croissants for six people, etc. The caramel recipe multiplies easily.
2 stale croissants
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
The night before serving, prepare the caramel and croissants, place in the pan, cover with foil, and refrigerate. The next morning, remove the foil and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes; if making for more than two people, add more time. A serving for 4 will take about 30 - 40 minutes.
Tear or cut the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; we use an 8 x 8 pyrex baking dish for up to four croissants; for more than that, we use our orange oval gratin dish. No need to butter the dish.
Put the sugar and water into a deep saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 5 - 10 minutes.
Heat together (we microwave for one minute) the cream and bourbon until hot, but don’t let a skin form on the cream. Leave the burner on low (see NOTE). Take the pan off the heat and add the cream/bourbon mixture - ignoring all spluttering,but be careful - stirring with a wooden spoon – not a whisk, in case of clumping. Then add the room temp or cold milk and whisk to mix. Once the caramel mixture is at room temperature, add to the beaten eggs, and pour over the torn-up croissants. Refrigerate, covered with foil.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.
NOTE: if the caramel clumps when the cream is added, return to the burner and stir with a wooden spoon until it all combines together. It’s much easier to get clumped mixture off a spoon than out of the tines of a whisk, so use a spoon.