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Brendan’s Bread Pudding

By John Besh - , - Oct 7, 2013

My eldest son loves to make this bread pudding, so I named it for him. It’s best straight from the oven, so mix the pudding ahead and cook it just before you serve it. Because all stale French breads aren’t created equal, you might need to add more milk, as dry bread keeps absorbing liquid.

From My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


For the bread pudding
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • 11 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups stale French bread, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the sauce
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the candied almonds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar


1. For the bread pudding, preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest, and eggs into a large bowl. Stir in the bread cubes and soak them for 30 minutes. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour mixture into it. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.
2. For the sauce,melt the butter in a medium sauce-pan over moderate heat, until it turns a light brown color, with a rich, hazelnut aroma, about 5 minutes. Add the corn syrup, sugar, rum, cream, salt and vanilla. Reduce the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. For the candied almonds, mix the almonds, egg white, and sugar together in a bowl. Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350° oven until golden brown, 15-18 minutes.. Stir nuts every 4-5 minutes to ensure that they bake evenly.
4. To serve, scoop a large spoonful of warm bread pudding onto each of 10 plates. Pour the buttered rum sauce over the pudding and scatter candied almonds over the top.