Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Yield:
Makes 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 medium eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces day-old French bread, sliced 1 inch thick (see Note)
  • Whiskey Sauce (see below)
  • Whiskey Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

  • Butter a large (11 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches) casserole dish and set aside. (Once in the oven, the casserole will sit inside a larger pan. A roasting pan would be good.) Mix the eggs, cream, and vanilla in a large bowl, and combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. This helps to evenly distribute the spices. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and combine thoroughly.

  • Place the raisins in the bottom of the buttered casserole, and add the bread slices in a single layer. Gently pour the custard over the bread, making certain that all the bread thoroughly soaks up the custard. Cover the casserole with foil, place in a larger dish (the roasting pan, if that's what you've decided to use) partly filled with hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, add increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour more, or until the pudding is golden brown and slightly firm. Use a spoon to make sure the custard is fully cooked; it should be moist but no longer runny. If you're unsure whether it's done, remove it from the oven and let it cool while it remains sitting in the water bath; the carryover effect will keep it cooking but it will not overcook. Serve slightly warm with whiskey sauce.

  • Note: New Orleans French bread is very light and tender. Outside New Orleans, use only a light bread. If the bread is too dense, the recipe won't work.

  • Bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.


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