Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gourmet Goodness and New Orleans Style Bread Pudding

We stopped by Petty's yesterday evening, my favorite little gourmet shop. The place has been around almost as long as I have (and that is a longggg time). Cafe Du Monde for me, hot pickle chips for John and a chocolate concoction called "1001 Chocolate Chips" for the Tiger. No, I did not buy her that insanely large chunk of cheddar cheese.

I've been going through a New Orleans inspired phase when it comes to cooking lately. Last nights guilty indulgence was Bread Pudding With Bourbon sauce.

Bread Pudding:

1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)

1 qt milk

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups sugar

2 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup raisins (soaked overnight in 1/4 cup bourbon)

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Soak the bread in milk in a large mixing bowl. Press with hands until well mixed and all the milk is absorbed. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices together. Gently stir into the bread mixture. Gently stir the raisins into the mixture.

3 Pour butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour in the bread mix and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.

Bourbon Sauce:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey

In a saucepan, melt butter; add sugar and egg, whisking to blend well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. (Do not allow to simmer, or it may curdle.) Whisk in bourbon to taste. Remove from heat. Whisk before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

Serve with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made. Makes 8-10 servings

* I altered this recipe a bit and used half and half instead of milk (gives it a richer taste). You might need to add extra bread, enough to make sure that all of the liquid is absorbed. I also doubled the allspice and cinnamon. I soaked the raisins for about 2 hours and they tasted fine however I'm sure if you left them for 24 hours they would be incredible (I didn't have the patience).

For the bourbon sauce, I added a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg and extra sugar to taste. I did let it simmer even though the recipe says not to. The sauce was too thin otherwise. I suggest a low simmer for 20 minutes stirring frequently and then take off heat and let settle for about 10-15 minutes. Give it a good stir before serving. It should be a nice syrup like consistency.

*I used brown sugar for everything.

The trick with both the pudding and sauce is to flavor to personal taste. Served with vanilla ice cream = outstanding! John ate about 1/4th of the pan. This dish would be perfect for Christmas time or cold weather in general.

Recipe courtesy of :

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