French Bread Pudding

with Clear Rum Sauce
From: (Carol Miller-Tutzauer)

1  cup sugar
8  tbsp (1 stick, ½ c) butter, softened
5  eggs, beaten
1  pint (2 c) heavy cream
   Dash of cinnamon
1  tbsp vanilla extract
¼  cup raisins
12 slices, each 1" thick, of fresh or stale French Bread

Clear Rum Sauce:
1  cup sugar
2¼ cup water
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp light or dark rum

1.  Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

2.  In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter.  Add eggs,
cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins, mixing well.  Pour into a
9"-square pan 1 ¾" deep.

3.  Arrange bread slices flat in the egg mixture and let stand for 5
minutes to soak up some of the liquid.  Turn bread over and let stand
for 10 minutes longer.  Then push bread down so that most of it is
covered by the egg mixture.  Do not break the bread.

4.  Set pan in a larger pan filled with water to ½" from top.
Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, uncovering
pudding for the last 10 minutes to brown the top.  When done, the
custard should still be soft, not firm.

5.  To make the sauce:  In a medium-size saucepan combine sugar, 2 cups
water, cinnamon, and butter and bring to a boil.  Stir in cornstarch
blended with remaining ¼ cup water and simmer, stirring, until the
sauce is clear.  Remove from heat and add rum.  Sauce will be thin.

6.  To serve:  Spoon the pudding onto dessert plates and pass the
sauce separately.

Note:  The rum sauce is also good with fresh pineapple.  Heat
pineapple "wheels" in it (do not cook, however), then serve on a
plate lightly covered with the sauce.

Bread Pudding Souffle with Whiskey Sauce

2½ cups French Bread Pudding (above)
6  egg yolks
½  cup granulated sugar
6  egg whites
½  cup confectioners' sugar
Unsalted butter
Granulated sugar
Whiskey Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick or a dash of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp bourbon
¼ cup additional water

1.  Make bread pudding and set aside 2 ½ cups.

2.  To make the souffle:  Preheat oven to 375 deg F.

3.  Put egg yolks and sugar in top of a double boiler.  Whip over
simmering water with a whisk until frothy and shiny.  Mix yolk mixture
with reserved bread pudding until smooth.

4.  Beat egg whites until frothy.  Gradually add confectioners'
sugar, beating constantly until the resulting meringue stands in
stiff peaks.  Gently fold egg whites into bread pudding mixture.

5.  Butter and lighly sugar a 1 ½ quart souffle dish.  Turn souffle
mixture into the dish, filling it three quarters full.  Wipe lip of the
souffle dish clean and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

6.  To make the sauce:  While souffle is baking, in a saucepan combine
sugar, 1 cup cream, cinnamon, and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Add in the
cornstarch mixed with the ¼ cup water and cook, stirring, until sauce
is clear.  Remove from heat and stir in whiskey.

>From Cooking with Queen Ida: "Bon Temps" Creole Recipes (and
Stories) from the Queen of Zydeco Music by Queen Ida Guillory
with Naomi Wise, Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing (dist. by St.
Martins Press), 1990, ISBN# 1-55958-050-X.  [To order, call
(916) 624-5718]

Queen Ida's Bread Pudding - Serves 8-12

12 slices day-old bread, or bread ends (white, wheat, or egg bread)
4  eggs, lightly beaten
1½ cups whole milk
1  cup evaporated milk (or heavy cream, or half-and-half)
½  cup sugar
1  tsp baking powder
1  tsp vanilla
½  tsp cinnamon
½  tsp nutmeg
⅛  tsp ground cloves
3  tbsp raisins, soaked in warm water 5 minutes and drained
   (or soaked in ¼ cup rum)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Place bread on a cookie sheet and toast
lightly, about 4 minutes a side, so it won't be too soggy.  Break bread
into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Add eggs, whole milk,
evaporated milk, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and
cloves.  Drain the raisins; reserve the rum, if using, for the sauce.
Stir in raisins and butter.  Pour mixture into a well-greased baking
dish about 11" x 14" x 2" (such as a lasagna pan) and bake 20 minutes.
Using a fork, test a little pudding from the center to see whether it's
cooked.  The custard should be very slightly browned but not dry.  Let
cool and slice.  Serve with lemon sauce or hard sauce.

Lemon (or Hard) Sauce for Bread Pudding

½  cup sugar
1  egg yolk (white spot removed)
1½ tsp cornstarch
   Pinch of salt
4  tbsp (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces
1½ tsp fresh lemon juice

Half-fill the lower half of a double boiler with water and bring to a
boil.  Meanwhile, cream together sugar and egg yolk (in a food
processor, or beating in a bowl with a wooden spoon).  Add cornstarch
and salt and blend well.  Add 1¼ cups water a little at a time,
blending after each addition, until all water is absorbed.

Pour mixture into the upper half of the double boiler and stir
constantly and strongly over low to medium heat, scraping the bottom of
the pot, until mixture begins to thicken.  (If egg starts to scramble,
remove the top half of the double boiler for a moment and stir fiercely
to cool the mixture, then return it to reduced heat.)  Add the butter
and lemon juice and continue stirring until butter melts and mixture is
creamy (about 10 minutes more).  If there are any lumps, force sauce
through a strainer.  Serve hot or warm.

Hard Sauce:  Substitute ¼ cup brandy, whiskey, or rum for the lemon juice.

>From Enola Prudhomme's Low-Calorie Cajun Cooking, NY: Hearst Books, 1991,
ISBN# 0-688-09255-1

Bread Pudding with Meringue

1½ cups evaporated skim milk
1  egg (or use egg substitute)
4  slices stale bread, cut into ½" cubes
5  tbsp sugar
2  tbsp raisins
¼  tsp ground nutmeg
¼  tsp vanilla extract
⅛  tsp ground cinnamon
1  tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
2  egg whites, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.

In a medium bowl, beat together the milk and egg.  Add the bread cubes
and let soak for 30 minutes.  Stir in 3 tbsp of the sugar, the raisins,
nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon; stirring well.  Spoon the mixture into an
8"-square baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable
cooking spray.  Dot with the margarine and bake for 30 minutes, or
until firm.

In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium
speed until foamy.  Gradually add the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and beat for
1 ½ minutes, or until stiff peaks form.  Spread the meringue over the
pudding, sealing the edges.  Return to the oven and bake for 2 minutes
longer, or until lightly browned.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving:  225 KCAL, 3 g FAT, 74 mg CHOL (less if
egg substitute used), 268 mg SODIUM.