While bread pudding was originally developed to make use of stale bread (Cajuns' don't waste anything), it has evolved into its own creamy, crunchy, delicious dessert and is now a much-loved Southern tradition--especially to Cajun and Creole people. Note: Prep time includes standing time.
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
- 3 eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 3 cups milk
- 8 ounces stale bread, cut into small cubes
Whiskey Vanilla Sauce
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter, additional
- 1⁄3 cup whiskey
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whipping cream
- *Brandy may be used instead of whiskey, if desired. If you'd rather not use liquor, fresh orange juice may be substituted for the whiskey.
- BREAD PUDDING:.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with the 1 tablespoon butter.
- Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant (don't allow pecans to burn). Remove from the heat.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter and milk until well blended.
- Place half the bread cubes in the buttered dish, top with the chopped pecans, then pour half the liquid mixture over the bread. Add the remaining bread cubes and top with remaining liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 30 minutes, gently pressing the cubes underneath the liquid a few times to make sure the bread is moistened. Remove plastic, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- Uncover the pudding, drizzle 1 cup of the warm Whiskey Vanilla Sauce over it, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered. Let set for at least 5 minutes before cutting. Serve the remaining Whiskey Vanilla Sauce with the pudding.
- WHISKEY VANILLA SAUCE.
- While pudding is baking, combine the sugar, cream, spices, and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. When the butter is melted, combine the whiskey, cornstarch, and vanilla in a small bowl, then slowly whisk the whiskey mixture into the gently boiling sauce.
- Boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Whip the cream and keep in refrigerator until serving time.