This is the classic New Orleans bread pudding, as prepared at the Bon Ton Cafe on Magazine Street. I consider it a quintessential version, but there are many possible variations: you can enrich it by using half-and-half instead of milk, and an extra egg; you can add different fruits, nuts, etc. Try it! And be sure to check out the other bread pudding variations listed on this page.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the beaten eggs into the milk. Tear bread into chunks and soak in milk and egg mixture. Crush with hands to make sure milk has soaked through. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins and stir well. Pour melted butter into a heavy 9 x 14 baking pan to coat the bottom and sides. Add bread mixture (and I sprinkle more cinnamon and raisins on top) and bake until very firm, about 40 mins. Cool pudding, cube it and put it into individual dessert dishes. When ready to serve, add whiskey sauce and heat under broiler for a few minutes (last step optional).

Whiskey sauce

You can use any kind of whiskey you like (Bourbon is typical), and rum also works beautifully. My dad likes Southern Comfort as the spirit.

Cream sugar and butter and cook in a double-boiler until very hot and well-dissolved. Add well-beaten egg very slowly and whip very fast so egg doesn't curdle. Cool and add liquor.

Serves 8


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)