Meyer Lemon Bread Pudding

Serves 6-8

For the lemon curd:
5 egg yolks
3/4 granulated sugar

3-4 Meyer lemons, juiced (to yield 1/3 cup juice)
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

For the pudding:
1 French bread baguette, crusts removed, cut into 1” slices

2 cups whole milk, cold*
1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs, cold*
3-4 Meyer lemons, juiced (to yield 1/3 cup juice)
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
pinch of kosher salt

Begin by making the lemon curd this should be done at least 1 day ahead. In the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest, whisking until the mixture is pale yellow in color and thickened slightly to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time until smooth. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To assemble and bake the pudding:

Place the French bread slices cut sides down in a lightly buttered 10 x 8 inch oval ovenproof baking dish. Fit the bread slices together in a single layer to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Spread the top of the bread slices with a layer of the Meyer lemon curd (about 1/2 cup total).

Whisk together the milk, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and pinch of salt, mixing well and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, to allow the bread to absorb the milk mixture. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Preheat the over to 325 degrees. Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake on top of a sheet pan for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
*Be sure to use both the milk and eggs cold, straight from the refrigerator, warmer milk may cause the custard mixture to curdle.