Fresh Fig and Apple Breakfast Pudding

It is Thanksgiving today, South of us. One of the best times to enjoy the fruits of the harvest. A bountiful harvest of apples and figs for every meal, including breakfast! This bread pudding is my low-fat version of the traditional Pain perdu (a.k.a. French toast). Who would have though that I would go for the oven-baked instead of the ever-so-tempting pan-fried in butter original!? Believe me, the warm and juicy fruit and the cream cheese are worth coming back to this breakfast treat! I usually add toasted walnuts on top for their earthy crunch.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

½ pound bread (about 8-10 slices)

1 cup milk

1 large egg

¼ cup fancy molasses (or maple syrup)

½ cup light cream cheese

4 fresh figs

2 gala apples

½ cup golden raisins

1 stick cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup walnut halves

1. In a bowl, beat the egg with the milk and the fancy molasses.

2. Coarsely cut the bread into one-inch squares.

3. Soak the bread into the egg mixture for 5-10 mins, until all the liquid is absorbed.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

5. Grease a 9 x 9 in. pan with butter.

6. Transfer the bread into the pan.

7. Slice the apples and quarter the figs.

8. Slice the cheese.

9. Add to the fruit and the cheese to the bread.

10. Toss with the freshly grated cinnamon.

11. Pop in the oven for 15 mins.

12. At the same time, toast some walnuts on a baking sheet.

13. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter on the pudding.

14. Bake for another 5 mins, until the butter is all melted.

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