I always think that some of the best recipes come from the thrifty refusal to throw anything away. Certainly, I made this one Monday evening because I had two stale croissants left over from the weekend and just knew they could be put to good use. Now, adding cream and bourbon is probably a lot less thrifty than throwing some stale bread away in the first place, but this is such a fabulous pudding that I now think it should be every Monday night's supper. And I mean supper: With something this substantial, you certainly need eat nothing beforehand. Though I admit a small crunchy salad may not be a bad idea first. Oh, and if you don't have any Bourbon in the house, first may I say, please consider it, and second, replace it, rather, with rum; Scotch Whisky may seem the obvious subsitute but it would be the wrong one, I feel.
- 2 stale croissants
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.
Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don't be too timid.
Take the pan off the heat and add the cream - ignoring all spluttering - followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.