Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bourbon Peach Bread Pudding

   This was my first foray into making bread pudding.  Yeah, I know... I live in the South and am in love with the South but have never made bread pudding.  There are quite a few Southern things I have not made:  fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, fresh green beans that have been boiled to straight to hell....  But bread pudding can be checked off the Southern dishes I want to make.  I knew the texture was going to be much softer than my preference, but I was really excited about the flavors!

   For our New Orleans night, we needed a dessert to compliment the gumbo.  So I searched through our rather extensive collection of Louisiana cook books.  In The Ox Bow Carriage House Restaurant (the on-site restaurant for The Myrtles Plantation) cook book, I came across Peach Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce.  I took the idea and adapted it to a much easier version where you don't have to bother with a sauce.  I used bourbon instead of rum because when I was in the liquor store, it just sounded good.
Bourbon Peach Bread Pudding
6 C cubed bread, 1 inch pieces (french bread is best)
1 C milk
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C bourbon (or rum)*
2 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp cinnamon
4 C chopped peaches, 1 inch pieces**
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C raw sugar (optional)

   Cut bread 1 day in advance and spread it on a baking sheet to dry out.  Or cut bread the day of and lightly toast in the oven at 300 deg F for 5 minutes.
   Mix milk, cream and bourbon in a large bowl.  Soak the bread cubes in the mixture for about 10 minutes (or however long it takes you to finish the following steps.)
   Whisk together eggs, sugar, extracts, and cinnamon.
   Combine egg mixture, peaches, raisins, and soaked bread.  Spread into a greased baking dish.
   Bake at 325 deg F for 1 hr. 15 min.  Halfway through baking, sprinkle the top with raw sugar for a little texture on top.
   Serves 8.
* If you want to make it liquor-free, replace alcohol with additional cream.
**Fresh peaches are best, but if they are out of season or don't look too great in the store, use thawed frozen peaches. 

Photos by Heather Clemons Photography!!! <3

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