Not for the faint of heart, literally! Just read the ingredients!
1 stick butter
1 lb (1 loaf or 3-4 FAT slices homemade) stale bread, French or otherwise
2 cups milk
3-4 eggs, depending on size
1 tsp (or one large “accidental” SPLASH!) vanilla
splash of rum/bourbon (optional, not too much…)
1/2 tsp (or so) cinnamon, nutmeg, ground coriander, and/or whatever else
1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts, choc chips, raisins, combination, and/or whatever (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. In glass 13×9 baking dish, put smaller dish/casserole inside (I use an oval corningware thingy) and make 13×9 dish into water bath. Melt butter in smaller dish in oven. While butter is melting, Combine eggs, milk, spices, vanilla, and liquor if using and whip with whisk or fork until frothy and well mixed. Remove melted butter from oven (careful – don’t spill hot water bath on yourself). Tear bread into small “hunks” and plop in casserole. Pour milk mixture over bread and smoosh with fork to combine. Sprinkle “mix-ins” over the top if using, and smoosh a bit with fork to combine if you want them throughout the pudding. Bake pudding for about 1 hour (my oven takes exactly one hour, but if your top starts to get too dark, remove!). Pudding must “compose itself” after baking for about 1 drink (2 if you’re Capt. Bacardi!) before you can cut it, but it can be served warm or at room temp. Serve with FUN RUM SAUCE, recipe below.
To reheat, make hot water bath and put in low oven while the main course is served. This should heat it up enough. Also, you can nuke it on LOW or HALF power for close to a minute, but be careful you don’t get rubber pudding…
FUN WHISKEY/RUM SAUCE – Come on, Baby, light my fire!
2/3 cup butter (1.5 sticks?)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup molasses)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp rum/whiskey (or maybe 4)
2 Tbsp orange liqueur
1/2 tsp vanilla (I use MORE)
In a large skillet heated to LOW (or medium, depending on oven), heat butter, sugar, and spices, shaking back and forth until butter and sugar get creamy. (Not long, there should be some bubbling, but not much). Take off heat and add liquors. Return to burner for a few seconds, then carefully ignite. Shake (do not flail unless you are on fire!) until flames are gone. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Stir gently to combine. Sauce should be smooth and have a well blended flavor. Serve warm and fresh. You can pour the leftovers over pudding and reheat portions in microwave, or you can pour leftovers in a jar and eat them over ice cream…