PUBLISHED: 1:41 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Wine-Soaked Fig Bread Pudding

1/2 pound rustic Italian bread, cut into 3/4" cubes

2 1/2 cups milk

1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Calimyrna or Mission Figs

1/3 cup Chianti (may substitute orange juice for wine)

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350?F. Place bread cubes and milk in medium bowl; let stand 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove stems from figs and coarsely chop.

Bring wine to boil in small saucepan. Add figs and simmer 2 minutes or until wine has been absorbed; set aside. Beat eggs with sugar and stir in bread cubes and soaked figs. Spread butter onto bottom and sides of 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon bread mixture into dish and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Let cool to warm, and serve with sweetened whipped cream. Top with sprinkle of cinnamon.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Serve with: Italian Vin Santo or other dessert wine