Eating Down the Fridge 2: Bourbon Bread Pudding
Okay, leave it to me two days after Thanksgiving to make MORE sweet-goodies, but we’re having a football party tomorrow afternoon (the only Sunday Bears game in the season that starts at 3:15, instead of noon, which is just about when we get home from church) with my husband’s co-workers, so we need stuff to serve them that isn’t obviously Thanksgiving-y, and I still have some stuff to get rid of.
All year long I save the heels of my bread loaves, cut them into cubes, and freeze them. They get pulled out periodically for bread pudding and Thanksgiving turkey stuffing. This year I accidentally thawed about 4 cups of cubes more than I needed (that’ll teach me to eyeball!), and I didn’t know what to do with the rest of them. So I made bread pudding.
This is another classic Jenn really-speedy-not-much-fat-better-for-you-than-it-seems kind of recipe. I haven’t made it in years, but now that I tried it again I realize I should do it more.
Bourbon Bread Pudding
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put 4 cups stale bread cubes into a casserole dish (preferably one with a heavy glass lid you can use to cover it–I use my white Corningware round one.) They shouldn’t come all the way up to the top; a good inch or so at least of “head space” is helpful, because this stuff puffs as it cooks.
- If desired, add 1/2 cup raisins, currants, or dried cranberries to bread cubes
- Whisk two eggs till bright yellow and foamy; whisk in 1/3-1/2 cup sugar (brown is nice).
- Add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tbs vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Add 3 cups milk and 1/3 cup bourbon (or other booze) and beat till well combined. (I did the last 3 steps right in my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup–the eggs and sugar together made about 1 cup, then I added the 3 cups of milk. The bourbon on top of that still had us a good bit from the top.)
- Pour over bread cubes. When I do this, the 4 cups of bread and the 4 cups of custard take up about the same amount of space in the casserole, so I still have the inch or so of head space at the top. Moosh down bread so it soaks up the custard.
- Cook, covered, in a 350-degree oven for about an hour. Let it cool before digging in, however lovely it smells.
Obviously, any hard spirit will work equally well in this recipe–rum, brandy, Jamisons, whatever–and I’m sure you could leave it out all together and add a little more spice and vanilla. But it’s very easy. And yummy. And it makes me want to pour some of the Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey Maple Cream sauce over it when I serve it, though I don’t know that I’ll have time to make it…maybe I’ll just drizzle some cranberry sauce over it instead, also leftover…only I re-boiled it with a little bourbon and cinnamon to complement the pudding. It’s all I can do not to just stand there and eat it with the spoon, guests be damned.