Kirschenmichel is a classic bread pudding with cherries that is popular in the south of Germany. It is one of those old recipes that makes sure that nothing ever goes to waste - like stale bread - something I never even have around. I have to plan ahead and let bread go stale if I want to make this pudding, which is quite silly but completely worth it, after all. My grandma used to make Kirschenmichel and Ofenschlupfer, a bread pudding with apples and a sweet name as Ofenschlupfer means “oven” and sliding or crawling. I always thought of it as crawled into the oven as one would into bed. A very comfortable thought and a sweet treat for lunch. Kirschenmichel means “cherry Michael” and I have no idea why.  

  • 2-3 pieces of stale baguette
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 pounds of cherries
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, plus more for baking dish and topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar or
    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds

Cut the baguette into 1/2" thick slices and let it dry overnight. You can also bake the slices for 20 minutes at 200ºF to dry them. Soak the bread slices in milk. I like to do this on a sheet pan. 

Wash the cherries and remove the pits. 

Separate the eggs. Cream the butter, add the sugar and the egg yolks. Add the vanilla and the lemon zest. Beat well. Whip the egg whites until hard peaks form. Gently combine the egg whites with the creamy dough.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Place a layer of milk soaked bread slices across the bottom, tucking the bread together tightly. Spread 1/3 of the dough over the layer of bread. Continue with a layer using half of the cherries and top the cherry layer with another layer of soaked bread. Spread another 1/3rd of the dough over the bread layer. Pour the rest of the cherries on top and finish with a final layer of bread and dough. Sprinkle the almond slices over the top plus a tablespoon of sugar. Dot with a couple of specks of butter.

Bake for about 50 minutes until the surface is lightly browned and the bread pudding has risen slightly. Serve warm with vanilla sauce.   


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