A scene I always remember from the show Friends is when Rachel tries to make trifle for Thanksgiving and somehow the recipe is messed up and she combines trifle and some sort of savory dish. Joey starts to eat it and says “What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Goooooood.” When I think about this recipe I totally agree, what’s not to like? Bourbon? Good. Bread? Good. Pudding? Goooood.
My friend Rachel is Jewish and so like a good Jew avoided all things starchy for Passover. As a result she was jonesing to get her carb on and invited a group over for what she deemed the Bread-A-Palooza. My first thought of what I could contribute to the feast was a bread pudding. So I set off to collect all the ingredients I knew I’d need. I went to a nice grocery store, but they didn’t have brioche or challah bread. Seriously Lunds?! I figured Whole Foods had to have one of these types of breads, so off I went. To my dismay, when I arrived at the Whole Foods bakery section (which is full of temptations I tried to avoid), the challah bread bucket sat empty. Thankfully, the nice bakery man pointed me in the direction of some packaged brioche. Crisis averted.
I give you Bourbon Bread Pudding…
- 10 cups cubed brioche or Challah bread (from a 1-pound loaf) It sounds like a lot, but isn’t once cut up.
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup 2% milk with 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream added
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Start by spraying a casserole dish, about 13 by 9-inch, with cooking spray. Then cut up your brioche bread into chunks and add them to your dish. Chop your pecans into small pieces and then sprinkle them over your bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, milk+cream, eggs, butter, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Pour the custard mixture over the bread in the baking dish, making sure your bread gets coated. Let the pudding sit for about 1 hour, to sop up all the custard goodness.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your dish for 50 minutes. The pudding should appear set.
I served mine with some fresh whipped cream that I added a little bit of vanilla extract and sugar to.
This turned out to be delish and it totally fulfilled on the carbs! I rationalized that I could eat some of it for breakfast the next morning too because it had milk, bread and eggs…total breakfast items.