Croissant Pudding with Berries | Budinca de Croissante cu Fructe de Padure

I first sampled this recipe in India, while on a work trip to Gurgaon. The hotel I was staying at had this fabulous breakfast buffet with many Western and Indian delicacies. This pudding was one of the desserts offered, and it was so good that I always made sure to have space for it at the end of the meal. And it's not only that it's very tasty, it also has such a beautiful blend of so many inviting colors: there's brown from the croissant shells and yellow from their insides, plus red from the jelly (I'm sure the recipe can't be as good if the jelly is not red, but then I tend to be silly sometimes), and dark blue from the blueberries.

I wanted to share this recipe with my family and friends, so I've been experimenting ever since I got back. Here is the recipe, for you to try.

 - Three large croissants
 - Four eggs
 - Two cups of milk
 - One cup of fresh or frozen berries
 - About a fourth cup of raspberry or strawberry jelly
 - Four tablespoons of sugar
 - One tablespoon of vanilla essence
 - One tablespoon of lemon zest or orange marmelade
 - A dash of salt
 - Butter to coat the pan (about a tablespoon)
 - (optional) Powdered sugar and extra fresh berries for serving

 - We want multiple beautiful colors in our dish: yellow from inside of the croissants, brown from their crusts, and red from the jelly. Split the croissant lengthwise, then gently tear each down into smaller pieces. Place a bit of jelly in the center of each piece without spreading it too much, then layer in a pan (I use a 4 qt dutch oven). Distribute the berries all thoughout.
 - Mix the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and a dash of salt. Gently pour over the croissants in the pan. Let everything soak for 5-10 minutes.
 - Bake at 350 for about an hour.
 - Serve warm, with optionally some powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

 - Place the extra fresh berries on top, if you have any.
 - A few leaves of fresh might could contribute additional color to the presentation, if you want to go the extra length. I usually find variety of colors already in the pudding to be sufficient.