Dessert: Bill's Favorite Bread Pudding with Vanilla Whiskey Sauce

I make this every Christmas Eve for our family dinner.
Photo by Lynn K.

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

105

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

PREP TIME

15

minutes

TOTAL TIME

105

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

Ingredients

  • Ingredients

  • BREAD PUDDING:

  • 3 3

    3 eggs, beaten

  • 1 1/2 1 1/2

    1/2 cups white sugar

  • 2 2

    2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 1

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 1/2

    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • pinch pinch of cloves

  • 1/4 1/4

    1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 3 3

    3 cups whole milk

  • 10 10

    10 slices bread, toasted and cut or torn into cubes (dried bread cubes for stuffing from the bakery work well)

  • 1 1

    1 cup raisins (I prefer golden raisins.)

  • 1 1 to

    cup chopped dates, rolled in sugar to keep from sticking

  • 1 1/2 1 1/2

    1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

  • VANILLA SAUCE:

  • 1/2 1/2

    1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 1

    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 1

    1 pinch ground cinnamon

  • 1 1

    1 egg

  • 2 2

    2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 1/4 1 1/4

    1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1 1

    1 pinch salt

  • 1 1

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Cook's Note: For extra richness, substitute heavy cream for milk; for a lighter dessert, substitute skim milk for whole milk.

Directions

Directions 1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart baking dish. 2.In a mixing bowl, whisk 3 eggs, white sugar, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of butter, and 3 cups of whole milk together, and gently stir in the bread cubes and raisins. Sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, fold in to the bread mixture. Lightly spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. 3. Let the bread absorb the egg mixture for a few minutes then stir and let it absorb a little more - this will avoid ending up with a baked custard on the bottom of the baking dish. 4. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and set in the middle, 50 to 55 minutes; you may cover with foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning, but I like it crusty on the top, so I never cover it. Remove from the oven. Let the pudding stand for 10 minutes before serving. 5. For vanilla sauce, whisk 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, the flour, a pinch of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups of whole milk, and salt together in a heavy saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk; temper the the egg mixture by whisking a few tablespoons of the boiling sauce into the egg. Add sauce from the stove into the bowl 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly until you have approximately 1 cup of the egg and sauce mixture in the bowl. (If you skip this step, you may end up with egg drop vanilla whiskey soup!) Add the tempered egg mixture from the bowl back into the saucepan and bring to a boil until the mixture is thick. Add the whiskey if you choose. 6. Pour sauce over warm bread pudding, or serve on the side.

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