1/2 a loaf of day-old unsliced bakery bread
3-4 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
4 tsp white sugar, for topping
Brown Sugar Sauce:
1/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350° and grease 4 individual dishes or an 8×8-inch baking pan. Set on to a baking sheet and set aside.
Peel peaches and cut in to slices. Set aside.
Slice bread in to thin 3/4-inch slices or cube. If using slices, you’ll want your bread pieces to be about an inch higher than the height of your baking dish, so figure out how tall they should be and cut off the bottom of the slices to that height. (*You won’t need the part you cut off the bottom, but you can use them by cutting them in to cubes and making some croutons with them!). Then cut each of the trimmed slices in half from top to bottom to make two pieces. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup white sugar, cream, milk and vanilla.
Place your bread slices in to your baking dishes (or disby slightly overlapping them (crust side facing the side of the disand allowing them to tilt back a bit. If using cubes, place in your dish or dishes.
Place some peach slices in the gaps between the bread. Pour some of the egg mixture over the bread and in to the dishes, just until it reaches the top edge of the dish or until it nears but doesn’t cover the top of the bread.
Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, then top up with remaining egg mixture, just until it reaches the edge of the dish again or near the top of the bread. You may not need it all.
Lightly brush the top of the bread with a bit of the egg mixture, then sprinkle a heaped 1 tsp. of white sugar over the top of each dish, especially on the top crust edge.
Place dishes on baking sheet (to catch any overflow!) in to preheated 350° oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden and set. (*You may want to check at 25-30 minutes in case it’s browning too quickly, in which case, just lay a sheet of aluminum foil over top while it finishes baking.
Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before eating. If not eating right away, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.
While puddings are baking, make the brown sugar sauce by melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cream and a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
Allow to come to a boil, stirring regularly. Once it comes to a boil, cook another few minutes, stirring regularly, then remove from heat and pour in to a bowl or pitcher.
Cover and refrigerate if not using right away. Can be re-warmed in the microwave/saucepan to serve.
Serve puddings at warm, at room temperature or slightly re-warmed in the microwave, topped with warm brown sugar sauce (*You’ll want to place your small dishes on a plate, as the brown sugar sauce will most likely spill over the sides when poured on top).