N’awlins Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Paula Dean's Bread Pudding
- 1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread
- 3 cups sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened and divided
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1/3 cup bourbon
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Tear bread into small pieces; arrange in bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Cover loosely with a paper towel, and allow to stand at room temperature several hours or until bread is stale and dry. (Or, to speed up the process, place bread on a baking sheet, and bake at 300° for 15 minutes or until bread is dry.)
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar, eggs, half-and-half, and 2 teaspoons vanilla; pour over bread in baking dish. Sprinkle raisins on top; press top of the mixture with the back of a spoon to make sure all bread is covered with egg mixture. Let stand for 20 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, ¼ cup butter, and pecans; sprinkle over top of bread mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. In a medium saucepan, whisk remaining 1 cup sugar and remaining ½ cup softened butter over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring until combined. Add bourbon, stirring until smooth. Pour over warm bread pudding.