Sunday, March 3, 2019

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Square of Bread Pudding topped with Bourbon Sauce
Bread and Bourbon Classic

Recipe by Susie M.

Absolutely the best ever. Even the exquisite Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s restaurants can’t compete in the bread pudding arena. My Auntie Ann’s concoction comes close, but lacks the New Orleans bourbon sauce. My friend Susie brings this pudding to an annual New Years’ Day party and it always disappears quickly, despite numerous dessert contributions and large amounts of seafood stew. When I inquired, she said that the recipe is from a New Orleans greeting card that she purchased years ago, and generously shared a photocopy. It’s a perfect treat for Mardi Gras—next Tuesday, March 6 this year.

Square of Bread Pudding topped with Whipped Cream
With Whipped Cream for the Kids
Bread pudding is a Creole tradition, as it was in past generations for my Polish family, and for the same reason: it’s a frugal way to utilize leftover bread. Ingredients are traditionally on hand: bread, milk, eggs, sugar, spices and an optional handful of raisins. In New Orleans, bourbon is also a typical ingredient in most kitchens. The sauce is served separately, made so that the bourbon retains its alcohol content. For the kids, use sweetened cream, whipped or not, with a bit of vanilla extract. Butter will separate from the sauce as it cools. Reheat gently in the microwave, just until butter re-melts. The sauce also contains egg, which can congeal unpleasantly if overheated.

Enjoy this rich and revered dessert New Orleans favorite at Mardi Gras or any time you want to use up too-old bread. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Pan of Bread Pudding with Pitcher of Bourbon Sauce
Perfect Pudding and Sauce
Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
serves ~10

Bread Pudding:
1 loaf day old French bread (or 6 slices bread)
4 cups milk
Butte for greasing
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup raisins
2 tbsp. vanilla
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cinnamon

Whiskey Sauce:
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup bourbon, rum, or brandy

Bread Pudding:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 13” x 9” baking dish.

Break bread into chunks. Pour milk over bread. When soft, break bread into smaller bits and let the bread absorb all the milk.

Beat 3 eggs and 1 cup sugar together until mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in raisins, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread bits and combine ingredients.

Pour bread pudding into baking dish. Place this dish into a larger dish filled with 1 inch of water.

Bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Whiskey Sauce:
Melt ½ cup butter in double boiler over medium low heat.

Stir 1 egg and 1 cup sugar together in a bowl.  Add mixture to melted butter. Stir 2 – 3 minutes until sugar dissolves.

Remove pan from heat and let sauce cool.

Stir in bourbon, rum, or brandy. Serve sauce warm. If cooled and butter has separated, reheat very gradually in microwave, just until butter melts.

Torn up Bread in Mixing Bowl
Start with French Bread
Milk Pouring onto Bread in Bowl
Add Milk
Beaten Egg with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Vanilla
Beat Eggs with Sugar and Spice
Batter of bread mixture, egg mixture, raisins, and melted butter
Mix Everything Together
Baked Bread Pudding Fresh from Oven
Voila! Gorgeous Bread Pudding
Square of Bread Pudding Swimming in Bourbon Sauce
Bourbon Sauce Adds a Potent Kick

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