Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bourbon Bread Pudding

I’ve been craving comfort food all day, and I figured only bourbon would fix that or atleast a batch of bread pudding with warm, creamy, oooey, gooey, buttery, bourbon sauce.

It’s the kind of dessert you want to savor with a good book or in my case, red box DVD’s and plenty bourbon sauce to go around.

Serves 8 to 10

1 baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces or 1 loaf of day old bread
4 egg yolks
2 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins
½ cup bourbon

Note: Traditionally, bread pudding is made with stale bread, but if you don’t have day old bread in the pantry, you can toast up a batch so it’s dry enough to soak up the custard.

1.      Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and Butter baking dish, and set aside.

2.      *if you don’t have day old bread* Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes, turning pieces over halfway through and rotating the baking sheet front to back. Let bread cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

3.      Meanwhile let’s plump those raisins back up by covering with ½ cup of bourbon and heat in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bourbon begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the mixture, placing the bourbon and raisins in separate bowls. (Reserve the bourbon for the sauce)

4.      In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.

5.      Toss in the toasted bread until evenly coated. Let mixture sit until bread begins to absorb custard, about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. If the majority of the bread is still hard when squeezed, soak for another 15 to 20 minutes.

6.      Pour half the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with half the raisins. Repeat with the remaining bread mixture and raisins. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

7.      Remove foil from pudding, and bake, uncovered, until custard is just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake until top of pudding forms golden crust, about 2 minutes.

8.      Let the pudding cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve with Bourbon Sauce.

Bourbon Sauce
Serves 1 cup

1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup bourbon
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1.      In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and bourbon until well combined.
2.      Using a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
3.      Whisk in cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, & cook 3-5 minutes until or sauce thickens.
4.      Take the pan off the heat, and stir in salt, butter and the additional bourbon from the raisins. (extra bourbon optional of course)
5.      Drizzle warm sauce over bread pudding, sit back relax and enjoy
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