• Bodacious bread pudding

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    The origin of bread pudding is uncertain. Cooks from many countries and cultures, not wanting to waste stale bread, invented many uses for it including pudding. Today’s bread pudding shares these humble roots and adds a few twists depending upon the cook. Some cooks make it with day-old donuts but I prefer day-old French bread. I also like to add apples, walnuts, and molasses to mine, and serve it with a tasty whiskey sauce.

    This can be served any time of the day. I especially enjoy it for breakfast.

    Bread Pudding Ingredients:
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
    3 Granny Smith apples (peeled and diced)
    1½ cups sugar (divided)
    2 tablespoons molasses
    ¼ cup raisins
    ¼ cup walnuts (chopped)
    1 teaspoon vanilla (divided)
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    3 large eggs
    1 cup milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    6 cups bread cubes (I cut up day-old French bread into 1-inch cubes)

    Bread Pudding Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a casserole dish with cooking spray.

    Melt butter in sauce pan. Add apples, ¾ cup sugar, molasses, raisins, walnuts, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla and all of the cinnamon. Stir to incorporate, remove from heat  and set aside.

    Lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Add milk, cream, the balance of the sugar and the balance of the vanilla. Add nutmeg and set aside.

    Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add apple and custard mixtures. Mix thoroughly. Spoon bread mixture into the dish and bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until pudding appears solid and light brown.

    Serve pudding with the following sauce.

    Whiskey Sauce Ingredients:
    2 cups heavy cream
    ½ cup whole milk
    ½ cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    ¾ cup Jack Daniels whiskey
    Pinch of salt

    Sauce Directions:
    In a 1-quart saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Place the cornstarch and ¼ cup of the whiskey in a small mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Pour this into the cream mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, add a pinch of salt and the remaining ½ cup of whiskey. Stir to combine and ladle over each piece of  bread pudding before serving.

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