Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    8

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Bread pudding has been synonymous with New Orleans for at least two centuries, and I still consider the classic one with whiskey sauce served at the Bon Ton Café to be the finest in the city. At one point, chopped dried fruits were also added to the pudding, suggesting that the dessert’s origins were not French Creole but, somehow, English. The pudding can certainly be made with day-old commercial white bread, but it does make all the difference in texture if you use a homemade, crusty country bread.

Ingredients

For the Pudding

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 10 slices day-old white bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ½ cup seedless dark raisins
  • ½ cup broken pecans

For the Sauce

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or blended whiskey

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 2- to 2½-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

To make the pudding, heat the milk in a medium saucepan over moderate heat until bubbles just begin to form around the edges of the pan. Combine the scalded milk, bread, and cream in a large mixing bowl and stir till well blended. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the eggs and sugar together till well blended, then stir into the bread mixture. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix till well blended. Stir in the melted butter, raisins, and pecans. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, set the dish in a larger baking pan filled with warm water about 1 inch deep, and bake till a cake tester or knife blade inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove the dish from the pan of water, transfer the dish to a rack, and let the pudding cool.

To make the sauce, place the egg yolks in a medium-size heavy saucepan and beat slightly. Add the sugar, cream, and vanilla, mix till well blended, and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, till the mixture comes to a low boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Let the sauce cool slightly before spooning it over the pudding, served in deep bowls.