- 1/2 loaf French bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 sprigs fresh Thyme, leaves removed
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 cups whole cranberries, completely thawed if using frozen
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the bread mixture:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and thyme leaves. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- On a baking sheet, spread the mixture, and toast until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In a sealable container, combine the bread mixture and 1 cup chicken stock. Seal the container and shake. Store in the refrigerator until the mixture has soaked up the stock, about 2 hours.
For the cranberry puree:
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 tablespoon butter, cranberries, and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Cook until cranberries are plump. Lower heat to medium if the puree begins to burn.
- Prepare a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour puree mixture through the sieve. Use a flexible spatula to gently press the cranberries until only pulp and skin remain.
For the cranberry bread pudding:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wipe the saucepan, and return cranberry puree to the pan. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Over medium heat, cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and sugar is absorbed into the mixture. Remove from heat.
- Remove bread from the refrigerator. Combine it into the cranberry mixture. Using a plastic spatula, gently press the bread into the cranberry puree until it has been fully absorbed.
- Distribute the cranberry-bread mixture among 4 ramekins. Bake until cooked through and the top becomes dark and crispy, about 40 minutes.