Recipe: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Yesterday afternoon, I found myself crippled by an intense craving for bread pudding. Seeing it served to the table next to me at Mandina’s earlier in the day probably didn’t help the situation, nor did the fact that Brother O’Mara has an unflagging sweet-tooth and will never refuse an offer of dessert. Also, we had a half-loaf of non-Leidenheimer’s brand poboy bread lying unused and unloved in the pantry. Feeling creative and adventurous, I decided to forgo following my father’s tried-and-true recipe and make up my own.
The only requests from the peanut gallery were, “No raisins and it had better have whiskey sauce.” Done and done.
I kept mon pere‘s trick of using scalded milk because I feel it adds an extra shot of traditional New Orleans flavor (I’d never seen cafe au lait made with scalded milk until I moved down here), although I did replace the milk with half-and-half for the sake of richness and texture. I also replaced white sugar with brown, raisins with whiskey-soaked dried cranberries, and added a couple more spices that were lying around the kitchen. The whiskey sauce was perhaps a tad too heavy on the whiskey, but not to the detriment of the dessert as a whole.
The results were–if I may say so myself– EFFING SPECTACULAR.
“When in NOLA…” Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
(c) lafille 2009
Recipe for 9X9 square pan, but is easily doubled.
1/2 loaf day-old poboy bread (French bread will do, in which case you might want to use a whole loaf, i.e. 18 inches worth), chunkified either by hand or by knife
3 c. scalded half-and-half
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
a generous handful of dried cranberries, soaked in whiskey and chopped up
3/4 c. brown sugar, loosely packed
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 lb. (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 c. whiskey
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
To make ye puddin’:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine bread and dried cranberries in 9X9 pan.
2. Mix scalded milk and butter until the butter melts completely. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk together.
3. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Add to the milk mixture and mix well. Pour this delightful concoction over the bread and cranberries, making sure all the bread is moistened. Let this sit for10-15 minutes before putting it in the oven.
4. Once everything is nice and mushy, put your pan into a larger pan containing about an inch of water, and then toss the whole shebang into the oven for about an hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Serve with warm whiskey sauce.
1. Melt butter and combine with sugar over low heat until it dissolves together. Slowly whisk in the egg, then the booze.
2. Be sure to stir the sauce before serving, as I found the whiskey tends to separate to the top if it sits for a minute.