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BREAD PUDDING NEW ORLEANS STYLE

3 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 to 2 loaves French bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1-1/4 pounds)
1 cup raisins
3 large eggs
4 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Spread the butter over a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Arrange the slices
in the pan. Tightly spaced in rows (almost upright). Tuck the raisin
in between the slices. In a large bowl whisk the eggs until light
and frothy. Whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread and let stand for 45-60 minutes,
pressing the bread down every so often to wet the top of the slices.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the pudding until the top is puffed and lightly browned, about
1 hour. Cover with Bourbon Sauce (recipe follows). Let cool on a
rack for 45 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftover
pudding in the refrigerator. Pudding can be reheated if desired.

Yield: 12-15 servings


BOURBON SAUCE

8 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoon bourbon (I use Makers Mark)
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Using a wooden
spoon, stir in the next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly
until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well blended. Remove
from heat.

Whisk the egg until light and frothy. Whisk the egg into the bourbon
mixture. Whisk vigorously. Set the sauce over medium heat, stir
gently bringing it to a simmer. Cool until thickened, about 1
minute.

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