I am going to go right ahead and pat myself on the back: I’ve outdone myself.
Yesterday was a typical March day in New England. (Freezing rain, driving wind, general malaise.) To lift the spirits, I set up my crock-pot with some pulled pork for dinner. Then I decided to eat dessert first, and turned to my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook.
Phil and I recently had an amazing bread pudding at 10 Prime Steak and Sushi in Providence, Rhode Island, and I’ve been craving the stuff ever since. I had all the necessary ingredients to make my own:
2 and 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
about 5 cups of 1 inch cubes of French or other firm bread
I had a loaf of a crusty tuscan bread, so I used that. I think any bread would work fine, just avoid using very soft breads. Bread pudding is great because it has a nice combination of soft, moist bread with crusty, almost-burnt tops.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together milk, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs in a very large bowl. Stir in the bread cubes and turn them until coated. Pour the whole thing into a small casserole dish. (About a 1 and 1/2 quart dish.) Pour any liquid remaining behind in the bowl over the top. I also pressed down on the top of the the mixture to kind of squish it all together. Pop this in the oven uncovered, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is cooked (Insert a knife or toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked through.)
While the bread pudding was cooking, I made a whiskey sauce to pour over the top. This was also surprisingly easy! You’ll need:
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of whiskey or bourbon, or brandy extract
You can make the sauce while the bread pudding is cooking, because the sauce will need time to cool. First, gently melt the stick of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Don’t let it simmer! (I lifted the pan off the heat a few times and just swirled the butter around until the the whole thing was just melted.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Whisk together the water and egg. Then pour the water and egg mixture into the cooled, melted butter. Whisk together. Whisk in your sugar. Now, place the saucepan back over medium-low heat, and whisk constantly until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just begins to boil. As soon as it starts to boil, remove it from the heat, and stir in the whiskey. Set this aside and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Your bread pudding is probably done now. Cut out a nice big piece, and spoon a generous serving of the whiskey sauce over the top. Enjoy.
You can keep the leftover bread pudding and whiskey sauce in the refrigerator. Just warm both up before serving.