Bread pudding is an easy, comforting and homey dessert that makes great use of stale, leftover bread. But what is truly game-changing about bread pudding is that you can make one with the silkiest of custards in almost half the time in your multicooker, which creates a steamy environment that custards love.

Here, we call for challah or brioche, but if all you’ve got is a baguette or sourdough boule, use it. The same holds true for the dairy, spices, flavorings and add-ins. If your bread is fresh, cut it into cubes, place on a rack set over a baking sheet and leave it uncovered on the counter overnight.

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Keep in mind that the pudding won’t have a lovely bronzed top when cooked this way, so a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and a drizzle of heavy cream is recommended for serving. This recipe works in a 3-quart Instant Pot or larger.

Storage: Leftover pudding can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Make ahead: The pudding can be made and refrigerated, covered with its foil cap, for up to 1 day before serving. To reheat, keep the foil on, and warm in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter or cooking spray, for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 3/4 cups (415 milliliters) heavy cream, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) cubed stale brioche or challah (8 to 10 cups) (see headnote)
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) cranberries, fresh or frozen, no need to defrost, coarsely chopped (may substitute blueberries, coarsely chopped strawberries, blackberries or raspberries)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

Step 1

Grease a 7-inch round baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Whisk in the heavy cream, bourbon and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and yolks one at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next. Add the bread and cranberries and, using a flexible spatula, stir until the bread absorbs most of the custard. Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with a piece of aluminum foil.


Step 2

Add 1 cup of water to the insert of your Instant Pot or multicooker. Use the trivet’s handles or an aluminum sling (see NOTES), to lower the pudding into the pot. Cover, set the steam valve to PRESSURE (or SEALING) and turn to HIGH. After the cooker reaches high pressure, which takes 5 to 10 minutes, cook for 35 minutes.

Step 3

Let the pressure release naturally, 20 to 25 minutes, then take off the lid. Carefully remove the bread pudding from the pot using oven mitts and the trivet handles.


Step 4

Remove the aluminum foil, and if you would like to slice rather than scoop your pudding, run a knife around the edge of the pudding and invert it onto a cooling rack and then right side up onto a serving plate.

Step 5

Serve warm with powdered sugar and a drizzle of heavy cream, or with a brown sugar bourbon glaze (see NOTES).

NOTES: To make the brown sugar bourbon glaze, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons (55 grams) of unsalted butter. Whisk in 2/3 cup (130 grams) of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of bourbon, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Drizzle the glaze over the bread pudding, then slice and serve. If you like, drizzle a little extra glaze on each slice.

To make a tinfoil sling: Fold a 20-inch rectangular piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a strip about 4 inches wide. Place the strip into the Instant Pot to test its size and bend it up to create handles. Place the foil strip under your pan and lower it into the pressure cooker using the foil “handles.” To remove, use a kitchen towel or mitts to grab the foil handles to lift out the pan.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 412; Total Fat: 24 g; Saturated Fat: 13 g; Cholesterol: 164 mg; Sodium: 383 mg; Carbohydrates: 43 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 23 g; Protein: 7 g.


From cookbook author Jessie Sheehan.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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