Our family wasn’t big on rituals, with one exception: Christmas. Every year on Christmas Eve, my mom would make a seafood stew and bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Its highly anticipated appearance on our table every year never disappointed. This is perfect for big tables and cold winter nights. -- lennon
From Jeanne Lemlin’s Quick Vegetarian Pleasures
- 1 8-oz loaf day-old French or Italian bread, torn into small pieces (about 8 cups)
- 3 cups low-fat milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tbsp bourbon whiskey
- Butter a deep 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Tear the bread into small pieces and drop them into a large bowl. Pour the milk over them and stir to moisten. Soak 30 minutes. (About 20 minutes after beginning to soak the bread, preheat the oven to 350°F.) When finished soaking, break up the bread into bits with a spoon.
- Beat together the eggs, sugar, raisins, and vanilla. Pour into the bread mixture and stir thoroughly, breaking up any large chunks of bread that surface. Scrape the pudding into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top, and dot with the butter. Place both pans in the oven and bake 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a double boiler. In a small bowl, beat the egg, and beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Stir into the melted butter, and whisk the mixture until it becomes very hot, about 7 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and scrape into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Stir in the bourbon.
Serve the pudding hot or warm in small custard cups (if you have them). Spoon some sauce over each serving.