Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bread pudding with bourbon sauce recipe comes from New Orleans

When it comes to bread puddings, you can’t beat New Orleans – theirs are among the very best. So when our friend Pepe, who resides in that great city, sent us a recipe for bread pudding topped with a rich bourbon sauce, we were off to find the ingredients.

Sure enough, there in the freezer sat some Italian bread just waiting to be included in a wonderful dessert. As we waited for the bread to thaw, we gathered the other ingredients – sugar, milk, raisins, and pecans, along with the stuff that gives it such a great aroma, the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. We found some bourbon to use for the sauce, although we could have subbed some other spirit such as brandy or rum if necessary. Also, we combined the bread, raisins, and pecans in the baking dish before pouring on the liquid.

The result was a nice, puffy, browned pudding that will make a terrific dessert for tonight. In fact, if I were to choose the very best bread pudding of all, this one would rank way at the top of the list. And it has the rich flavor of great bread puddings without all the heavy cream, eggs and high-fat ingredients.

This recipe was adapted by Joe Barkson and posted to his Worldwide Recipes site from a recipe by Paul Prudhomme from his book, "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen." Thanks Pepe for giving us the heads up on this one!

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter, melted
2 cups (500 ml) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) raisins
1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped pecans
5 cups (1.25 L) very stale French or Italian bread, with crust, cut into cubes
1 recipe bourbon sauce (see below)

Using electric mixer or wire whisk, beat eggs until extremely frothy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, about 6 by hand. Add remaining ingredients except bread and beat until thoroughly mixed. Place bread cubes in greased oven-proof baking dish and pour egg mixture over them. Toss bread to coat with egg mixture and allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes, until virtually all liquid is absorbed. Bake in preheated 300F (150C) for 45 minutes, then raise oven temperature to 424F (220C) and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until pudding is well browned and has puffed up. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with bourbon sauce. Serves 8.

Bourbon Sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) bourbon, brandy, rum, or spirit of your choice

Combine butter, sugar, and egg in small saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens - do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in bourbon. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat before serving. Makes about 2 cups (500 ml).
(Adapted by Joe Barkson’s recipe site, Worldwide Recipes, from "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen" By Paul Prudhomme.)