I was looking for a nice and light dessert to make for this holiday weekend, and instead came up with one of the heavier things I could have selected. I couldn’t help it. I was inspired by last week’s recipe and its abundant use of bread in the Dutch oven.
You guessed it, I made a bread pudding.
Even better, it has bourbon and pecans, two of my favorite dessert ingredients. I’m a sucker for a bourbon pecan pie every Thanksgiving, so I couldn’t resist.
The recipe also gave me a good excuse to track down where I could find challah in Ames, and an opportunity to learn that the average loaf of bread is equal to one pound. (The recipe called for a pound, and I had no idea how to guess the weight of a loaf; turns out it’s pretty easy to find.)
It all turned out perfectly, and bonus, I got a whole bunch of mostly egg white scrambled eggs as the recipe called for a ton of only egg yolks.
Here’s what I did, mostly following the recipe in my Cook It In Your Dutch Oven cookbook:
- 1 loaf/1 lb. challah bread chopped or torn into 1 in. chunks (preferably slightly staled)
- 9 egg yolks
- 2 ½ c. whole milk
- 2 ½ c. heavy cream
- ¾ c. brown sugar, packed, plus 2 T., divided
- ½ c. bourbon
- 1 T. vanilla
- ¾ t. salt
- ½ t. cardamom (optional)
- ½ c. pecans, chopped
- 7 T. heavy cream
- ½ c. brown sugar, packed
- 2 ½ T. butter
- 2 T. bourbon
In the Dutch oven, mix together the bread pudding ingredients: milk, cream, egg yolks, ¾ c. brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and cardamom, if using. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well combined. Fold in the bread chunks, and let sit for about 30 minutes to let the bread absorb the milk-egg mixture (stirring halfway through).
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
After the half-hour, top the mixture with the pecans and sprinkle on the 2 T. brown sugar. Bake in the oven, uncovered, until center is set, about 50 to 70 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the remaining sugar with the 7 T. heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture boils, remove from heat, and add the butter and bourbon. Stir to combine.
When the pudding is ready, let cool slightly, stir the sauce mixture again, serve with sauce, and enjoy! Happy Labor Day weekend!!