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Bread Pudding - Prickly Pear's Bread Pudding
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Banana/walnut bread pudding w/cognac sauce

Prickly Pear

Serves/Makes:One 3-qt casserole, 3" deep

  • 3 T butter (for casserole dish)
  • Pudding:
  • 1 loaf white bread (fresh homemade is BEST!! and worth the effort)
  • 1 banana
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3-1/2 cups (825 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy, whipping-style cream
  • 1-1/3 cups (325 ml) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) cinnamon
  • 1/2 c walnuts, FINELY chopped
  • Sauce:
  • 1 stick BUTTER
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) cognac
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy, whipping-style cream
  • Butter casserole with 3 tbsp (45 ml) butter.
  • Cut bread into to 1/2" cubes and place in buttered casserole.
  • In blender, puree banana, eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  • Pour liquid over bread cubes and let stand 1 HOUR, pressing down now and then with a spatula to make sure bread cubes are thoroughly wet.
  • Just prior to baking sprinkle walnuts over top and press into pudding well with the spatula.
  • Bake at 375 degrees (200 C.) until top is puffed and lightly golden--about 1 hour (Pudding will puff up--may have cracks--and will decrease in size as it cools; THIS IS EXPECTED).
  • Drizzle Cognac Sauce (recipe below) over top and serve warm.
  • Cognac Sauce:
  • In large (2-qt capacity) bowl melt the butter.
  • Whisk in sugar, cognac, water and nutmeg.
  • Cook in microwave on medium high, stirring well after each minute, until the mixture is well blended and has come to a boil.
  • Whisk an egg until frothy; then vigorously whisk into the cognac mixture.
  • Return sauce to microwave and cook on high until thickened--stirring every 30 seconds.
  • After sauce has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the heavy cream.
  • Store left over sauce and pudding in the refrigerator--warm in microwave with the sauce on the pudding to serve after it's cold.
I took my grandmother's old, farm-style bread pudding recipe and jazzed it up. It goes over quite well--even people who tell me they don't like bread pudding end up asking for the recipe! (Unlike some dessert sauces that have liquor in them--this one is mild and only serves to compliment to delicate flavor of the bread pudding.)

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