10 cups cubed day old bread
7 egg yolks
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds, seeds, reserved
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 cups half-and-half
2 cups fresh mixed berries, whatever is in season
1/2 cup sugar for topping
In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread out bread cubes. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the 1 2/3 cup sugar together until combined. Add the vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and half-and-half; combine ingredients well. Pour over the top of the bread crumbs. Pres down the bread some that custard mixture covers the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours to 24 hours. When ready to bake remove plastic wrap and sprinkle berries on top and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup sugar.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the pudding in the oven and bake about 1 1/2 hours or until just set in center. Test by poking with knife. If when poke with knife the cut fills with custard , pudding needs a little more baking until custard no longer fill indentation but still moist. Remove from oven and allow to set for 2 hours before serving. Serve warm or cold.
4 cups mixed berries, large berries sliced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
about 1/2 cup sugar, depends on sweetness of berries
1 tsp. almond extract
In a small sauce pan add 1 cup berries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook until sugar is melted. Fold in remaining berries and almond extract. Serve over pudding.