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Christmas Bread Pudding

9 sl Whole Wheat Bread
8 sl White Bread
3 Egg yolks; beaten
1 1/2 c Cream, light
1/3 c Sugar
1 ds Salt
1 1/2 ts Vanilla
2/3 c Raisins, light
2/3 c Raisins, dark
1/3 c Candied red cherries; halved
3/4 c Cream sherry
1 c Water
2 Egg yolks; beaten
1/4 c Powdered sugar; sifted
2 tb Cream sherry
1/4 ts Vanilla
1/2 c Whipping cream


Remove crusts from bread; set crusts aside for another use. Cover bread slices with paper towels and let stand overnight.

For custard, in a heavy medium saucepan combine 3 egg yolks, light cream, sugar, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat. Continue cooking until mixture coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat; cool at once by placing saucepan in a sink of ice water and stirring for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Cover surface with clear plastic wrap.

In a small bowl combine raisins. Place cherries in another bowl. Heat 3/4 c. sherry until warm. Pour 2/3 c. sherry over raisins; pour remaining sherry over cherries. Set aside. Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes (should have about 9 cups). In a bowl fold bread into custard till coated. Grease a 6-1/2-cup tower mold (without tube). Drain raisins and cherries, reserving sherry.

Arrange one-fourth of cherries in bottom of the mold; sprinkle 1/3 c. raisins into the mold. Add one-fourth of bread-cube mixture. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons reserved sherry. Repeat layers three times, arranging cherries and raisins near edges of the mold. Lightly press last layer with the back of a spoon. Pour remaining reserved sherry over all. Cover mold tightly with foil.

Set mold into a 4 quart slow cooker with liner in place. Pour 1 cup water into cooker around mold. Cover; cook on low heat setting abut 5 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting about 3 hours or until pudding springs back when touched.

Meanwhile, for sherry sauce, in a mixing bowl combine 2 egg yolks, powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons sherry, and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla. In a small mixing bowl beat whipping cream with a rotary beater until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into egg-yolk mixture. Cover and chill until serving time.

Remove mold from cooker and let stand 10 minutes. Carefully unmold pudding onto a serving platter. Serve warm with sherry sauce. (Or, remove pudding from mold, cover, and chill. To serve, return pudding to the same mold. Cover with foil and place in the cooker, then pour 1 cup water around mold. Cover; cook on high-heat setting for 1 1/2-2 hours or until warm. Let stand 10 minutes; unmold and serve with sauce. )

For 5- or 6- quart slow cooker: Use 1 1/2 C. water to pour around mold. Leave remaining ingredient amounts the same.

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