A decadent bread pudding, this is a creamy, warm and comforting confection. Scented with vanilla and brightened by lemon juice, it makes good use of day-old croissants.
Butter, for greasing hotel pans
6 cups peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped California peaches
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
5 cups granulated sugar
16 large eggs
4-5 qts. milk
1 1⁄3 cups rum
4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
24 day-old croissants; split in half lengthwise as for sandwiches
1⁄2 cup butter
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 2 hotel pans (10-x12-x2-in. each). Set aside.
2. In large bowl, toss peaches with lemon juice and 1⁄2 cup sugar. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs and 31⁄2 cups sugar until light. Add milk, rum, vanilla, and salt; mix well. Set aside.
4. Arrange single layer of croissant bottoms in prepared pans. Layer peach mixture on top. Pour 1⁄2 egg mixture over top. Let soak for a few min. Top with croissant tops and pour remaining egg mixture over all.
5. Sprinkle top with 11⁄2 cups sugar and dot with butter. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 45 min.). Serve warm.