I'm a real bread pudding freak from way back. My mother used to make bread pudding from the old crusts, rolls ,and buns she would save up and store in the freezer. People often think that bread pudding is soggy and mushy, but this recipe and my mother's makes a delicious, firm, loaflike texture that, when served warm with real whipped creme or vanilla bean ice cream, tantilizes the taste buds. This particular recipe is made with croissants instead of bread for a real rich twist.
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/3 cups)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 large (5 oz.) croissants, cut or torn into 1 inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For pudding, in a large bowl stir together bananas, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and almond extract. Place torn croissant pieces in a lightly greased 2-quart rectangular casserole, pour egg mixture evenly over croissants. Press pieces into egg mixture to moisten.
For streusel, in a small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, margerine or butter, and the remaiming 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in pecans. sprinkle streusel topping over croissant mixture. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until slightly puffed and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Makes around 10 - 12 servings.