New Orleans Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce

New Orleans bread pudding with whiskey sauce
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 88 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 68 mins
  • Soak Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
379 Calories
17g Fat
44g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 379
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 281mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 10g
Calcium 148mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

New Orleans has long been famous for its many food traditions, including deep-fried beignets, buttery praline candies, fabulous po' boys, gumbos, and jambalayas, and the wonderful baked bread puddings served up in their fabulous restaurants and bistros. This New Orleans bread pudding will make you feel like you're dining in the French quarter with its classic combination of French bread, plumped whiskey-soaked raisins, and a rich whiskey or bourbon sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the Bread Pudding:
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey (or bourbon)
  • 1 (about 12 ounces) day-old French bread
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • For the Whiskey Sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Bread Pudding

  1. Put the raisins and whiskey in a small saucepan and heat just until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. (Alternatively, heat the raisins and whiskey in a cup in the microwave oven for about 20 to 30 seconds.)

  2. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch rounds and then cut the rounds into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have roughly 8 cups of bread cubes.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the half-and-half and whole milk with the eggs and brown sugar. Whisk until well blended. Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt. 

  4. Add the bread cubes and soaked raisins with their liquid to the bowl with the milk and stir to coat thoroughly. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

  5. Heat the oven to 325 F. 

  6. Generously butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.

  7. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish, distributing the raisins as evenly as possible.

  8. Bake the bread pudding in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until it is firm and golden brown.

  9. Remove the bread pudding to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with the whiskey sauce; refrigerate leftovers.

 

Make the Whiskey Sauce

  1. Combine the heavy cream, whole milk, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan and set aside. 

  2. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the cornstarch with the whiskey or bourbon. 

  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and set aside.

  4. Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Cook until the sauce comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 

  5. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. 

  6. Whisk in a pinch of salt, the butter, and vanilla, if using.

  7. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. The sauce will thicken more as it stands.

  8. Spoon some of the warm sauce over each serving of bread pudding.

Tips

If you don't have half-and-half, you can use 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of whole milk. Or you may use all whole milk.

Adding the 1/2 cup of hot liquid to the eggs is called tempering and prevents the eggs from curdling and cooking. It is important that you follow this step or else you may end up with scrambled eggs in your bread pudding.