This gorgeous Lemon Berry Bread Pudding recipe is perfect for brunch or dessert. Tender bread and custard bake together along with fresh berries, then get topped with a sweet and tart lemon butter sauce.
Slice the bread into 1" cubes and spread onto a baking sheet. Set oven to 375°F and place bread in the oven while it heats up. This will help give the bread some texture. Check bread every 5 minutes, and remove when lightly toasted.
When the bread comes out of the oven, add the bread to a large bowl and stir in the melted butter. Set aside.
Prepare the custard by combining the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon zest. Whisk well.
Prepare a 8 x 8 inch or 9x9 inch baking dish by lightly coating with butter.
Rinse all berries (and allow to dry) and chop strawberries.
Add about half of the prepared bread to the dish, then half of the berries. Follow with the remaining bread, and remaining berries.
Press down the bread and berries, so they all fit snugly in the dish, and there are no large gaps.
Pour the custard over the bread, pouring evenly over all areas. Press down the bread and fruit into the liquid, so the bread is mostly submerged.
Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes to make sure it's not getting too brown on top (add foil if needed to complete bake time).
Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
Prepare the lemon sauce
While the bread pudding bakes, prepare the lemon sauce by adding the butter, sugar, water and well beaten egg to a saucepan, and heating on medium heat.
Continue stirring, and heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the lemon sauce over the baked bread pudding, while it's cooling. Reserve the remaining sauce to pour on individual slices of the bread pudding, as it's served.
This dessert is best served warm. Feel free to make it a day in advance (and store in the fridge), and then warm the dish in the oven (covered with foil), or microwave individual servings.