|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This classic New Orleans bread pudding is served with a thick and rich whiskey sauce. It will make you feel like you're dining in the French quarter.
New Orleans has long been famous for its many food traditions, including soft, deep-fried beignets, creamy, buttery praline candies, fabulous po' boys, gumbos, and jambalayas, and the wonderful baked bread puddings served up in their fabulous restaurants and bistros.
- Bread Pudding:
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons whiskey (or bourbon)
- 8 cups day old French bread (about 12 ounces)
- 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 salt
- Whiskey Sauce:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
- 2 egg yolks
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
Prepare the Pudding
Put the raisins and 2 tablespoons of whiskey (or bourbon) 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.
Slice the bread into 1/2-inch rounds and then slice the rounds into 1/2-inch cubes. You should have roughly 8 cups of bread cubes.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups of half-and-half and 1 cup of whole milk with the 3 large eggs and brown sugar. Whisk until well blended. Whisk in the vanilla, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and a dash of salt.
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 an hour. Stir occasionally.
Heat the oven to 325 F.
Generously butter a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish; distribute the raisins as evenly as possible.
Bake the bread pudding in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until it is firm and golden brown.
Remove the bread pudding to a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature; refrigerate leftovers.
Make the Whiskey Sauce
Combine the 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of whole milk, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan.
In a small bowl or cup, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of whiskey or bourbon.
Whisk the 2 egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
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.
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.
Whisk in a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, if using.
Transfer the sauce mixture 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.
Spoon some of the warm sauce over each serving of bread pudding.
*If you don't have half-and-half, use 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of whole milk. Or you may use all whole milk.