1tablespoongrated fresh ginger(from a ½-ounce piece)
1tablespoonpure vanilla extract
1cuphalf & half
Spray the bottom and sides of a 9" x 13" casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray, and hold the pan aside.
Toast the bread:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice the sweet bread into chunks, roughly 1-1/2-inch cubes. Spread the bread chunks out on a large baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned - do not over-brown them. Remove the bread cubes from the oven and give them a couple of minutes to cool down.
Add fruit and bread to the pan:
Once the bread cubes have cooled a little, spread them across the bottom of the prepared pan. Add in the cut mango and the blueberries, spreading them evenly over and throughout the bread cubes. Add the ginger by sprinkling the grated flecks over the top of the bread and fruit, or by grating the piece of peeled ginger directly over the pan.
Make the batter:
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt in a large measuring cup with a pouring spout or in a large bowl. Add in the half & half and the milk and whisk everything together very thoroughly.
Pour this liquid over the bread and fruit in the pan, distributing it evenly over everything in the pan. Cover the whole pan tightly with plastic wrap and place the pan in the refrigerator. It should rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove the plastic wrap and place the bread pudding in the oven on a rack positioned in the center. Bake the dish for about 50 minutes: the bread on the top should be nicely browned but not too dark, and there shouldn't be any liquidy pockets left. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Spoon the bread pudding into serving dishes and enjoy it while it's warm! Leftover bread pudding can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to three days - you can rewarm it in the microwave or in the oven if you prefer.
Bread puddings rely on a good rest before baking, so that the liquid has time to soak into all the bread cubes and the flavors have time to develop. Include the overnight refrigeration (or at least 8 hours) in your planning for this recipe.
Use sweet breads for this bread pudding - great choices include Portuguese sweet bread, challah and brioche.
Do give that mango trick a try: slice vertically down through a fresh mango to cut the two outer halves away from the tough center core. Push the halves down on the rim of a drinking glass to separate the peel from the fruit. You can also use fresh, precut mango if your store has it available.
If you decide to use frozen blueberries, don't add them to the pan until after the dish has rested in the fridge overnight: otherwise the blueberries will thaw and release a lot of juice, which will turn your bread pudding very blue! Just toss the frozen berries into the bread pudding right before baking instead.