Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Creole and Cajun cooks never waste a crumb in the kitchen, which is why bread pudding is so popular in New Orleans. Found more often on Northern restaurant menus, bread pudding has moved from a “poor man’s dessert” to gourmet status as of late. Nuts, dried cranberries and other delicacies can be added in place of or in addition to the raisins. Some Cajun chefs even add fruit cocktail to the mixture!

2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins

6 ounces stale French bread, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 350

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Add the bread and stir to coat. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow mixture to soak into bread.

Butter a 9-inch baking dish. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with Bourbon Sauce.

Serves 6

Bourbon Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in cream and bourbon.

Gary – Look for a dessert wine that is sweeter than the bread pudding to ensure both show their best attributes. I would try a Rutherglen Tokay or Muscat or a Spanish Pedro Ximenez with rich, caramel and toffee overtones. A late harvest Riesling would work well, as would a Sauvignon Blanc with the elegance and acidity to cleanse the palate between bites. Or look for a delicate, luscious Malaga (a lighter, perfumed Muscat), one of the world’s prettiest dessert wines, and sure to be a delightful pairing with this dish.

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