My Bread Pudding and Bon Ton Sauce
Bon Ton Sauce:
2 sticks butter, unsalted
2 cups sugar
2 cups Kentucky bourbon (some prefer rum)
4 French baguettes, at least one day old, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart milk
1 quart half-n-half
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups sugar
4 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups raisins (soaked overnight in 1/2 cup bourbon)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tbsp melted butter or butter-flavored cooking spray
In a deep saucepan, melt butter. Watch your heat very carefully - this should never boil and it is better that it does not even simmer.
Next, you will temper in the beaten 2 eggs. That is, add a teaspoonful of the warmed butter and sugar mixture to the eggs and beat lightly. Add a second teaspoonful and repeat until eggs are to the temp of the warmed butter and sugar mixture.
Slowly add the egg into the saucepan - spoonfuls at a time until incorporated back into the butter and sugar mixture. This is to keep the egg from cooking or curdling.
Whisk in the bourbon and let warm for about 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put milk and half-n-half into a large bowl. Add in bread cubes handfuls at a time - pressing and turning so that the bread soaks up the milk. Keep adding in bread until you have soaked up all the milk.
In a separate bowl beat eggs, then add in sugar, vanilla and spices. Mix this into the soaked bread.
Then, drain the drunken raisins and add raisins to the mixture. (reserve the bourbon!) Gently mix until everything is evenly distributed.
Butter or spray one DEEP 9 x 13 baking dish or two SHALLOW 9 x 13 baking dish.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and even out with the bake of a large spoon.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Do the toothpick test to be sure it comes out clean. You want to be sure the bread pudding comes out with as little moisture on top as possible.
Once baked, remove from the oven and spoon the leftover raisin bourbon over the top and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Finally, remove from the oven. Using a small skewer, punch 12 to 14 holes throughout the bread pudding.
Warm the bourbon sauce and whisk to re-mix. Spoon the warmed bourbon sauce over the top of the bread pudding liberally. Reserve remaining bourbon sauce for those guests who want drunken pudding!!
Pairs Well With
I was asked to make a special bread pudding for a 2010 Mardi Gras party. So, I pulled out all the stops and did some research. Here is the recipe I came up with and it was a hit!!! Just remember to buy your fifth of whiskey before you start cooking!!!
Also, you can substitute portions of the raisins with candied pineapple pieces, chopped dates, golden raisins, chopped dried plums, craisins, figs or dried cherries. Some also like candied chopped nuts spread over the very top of their finished bread pudding. Find your own favorite variations.