Fresh Ginger Bread Pudding

Serves 10 or more, depending on how large you cut the squares. Recipe is by Marcia Balcom, of Baton Rouge, who says, “This is a lighter tasting, good-for-summer alternative bread pudding. Also, it’s a good finish for an Asian meal.”

1 qt. whipping cream

1 (4- to 5-inch) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

6 eggs, beaten

11?3 cups sugar

1 cup toasted coconut

1 cup golden raisins

1 (1-lb.) loaf of Hawaiian bread

Whipped cream or whipped topping, for garnish

Lime zest, for garnish

1. Bring whipping cream and chopped ginger to a boil in a sauce pan, turn off heat and let ginger steep in cream for 1 hour. Drain ginger from cream. Discard ginger and let cream cool to room temperature.

2. Add beaten eggs and sugar to cream. Add coconut and raisins to egg and cream mixture.

3. Cut Hawaiian bread into 1-inch cubes. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes and let bread absorb liquid for an hour or more.

4. Pour into a 13-inch by 9-inch greased pan or baking dish and bake at 300 F for 1½ hours until set and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Cut in squares and serve. If desired, top with whipped cream or whipped topping and dust with a little fresh lime zest. You can also top with vanilla ice cream or lime sherbet or lime gelato.