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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Lightly coat a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat milk (or half-and-half or cream) over medium heat just until simmering. Remove from heat. Add dried cherries (or cranberries) and dried apricots (if using). Place loose tea, if using, in a tea strainer basket. (Or cut a double layer of 100%-cotton cheesecloth into a 4-inch square. Place loose tea on cheesecloth square; tie into a bundle with clean kitchen string.) Add the tea basket or bundle (or tea bags) to the milk mixture; let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea, pressing gently to drain excess tea into saucepan. Meanwhile, peel and remove stem and seeds from persimmon(s), if using; cut into bite-size pieces. Add persimmon, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt to milk mixture; whisk or stir to combine.
Place dry bread cubes in a very large bowl. Add milk mixture to bread; stir gently to combine. Spoon bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. If desired, cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until set in center and top is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. If desired, serve with yogurt.