New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding

Published December 1, 2006.

Why this recipe works:

We started our New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding recipe by tearing a baguette into ragged pieces, which gave the bread pudding a rustic look. We then toasted the bread to a deep golden brown, which prevented the prepared recipe from turning soggy. Once the custard set up in the oven, we… read more

We started our New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding recipe by tearing a baguette into ragged pieces, which gave the bread pudding a rustic look. We then toasted the bread to a deep golden brown, which prevented the prepared recipe from turning soggy. Once the custard set up in the oven, we sprinkled cinnamon, sugar, and butter on top and let it bake until the topping was caramelized. Then, for a real taste of New Orleans, we drizzled the bread pudding with our warm Bourbon Sauce.

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Serves 8 to 10

This bread pudding is great on its own, but for a little more punch drizzle Bourbon Sauce over individual servings. A bakery-quality French baguette makes this dish even better.

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette (18- to 20-inch), torn into 1-inch pieces (10 cups)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for baking dish
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange bread in single layer on baking sheet and bake until crisp and browned, about 12 minutes, turning pieces over halfway through drying time and rotating baking sheet front to back. Let bread cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

    2. Meanwhile, heat raisins with 1/2 cup bourbon in small saucepan over medium-high heat until bourbon begins to simmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving bourbon and raisins separately.

    3. Butter 13 by 9-inch broiler-safe baking dish. Whisk yolks, brown sugar, cream, milk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup bourbon plus bourbon used to plump raisins. Toss in toasted bread until evenly coated. Let mixture sit until bread begins to absorb custard, about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. If majority of bread is still hard when squeezed, soak for another 15 to 20 minutes.

    4. Pour half of bread mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with half of raisins. Pour remaining bread mixture into dish and sprinkle with remaining raisins. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

    5. Meanwhile, mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl. Using fingers, cut 6 tablespoons butter into sugar mixture until size of small peas. Remove foil from pudding, sprinkle with butter mixture, and bake, uncovered, until custard is just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pudding from oven and heat broiler.

    6. Once broiler is heated, broil pudding until top forms golden crust, about 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve. (Leftover bread pudding should be refrigerated; reheat individual portions in microwave.)

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