Bread pudding is a sweet dessert made in one form or another all over the world with day-old bread. It’s a magically comforting combination whose sum is greater than its parts. The transformation is almost magical.
- 3/4 cup bourbon (divided)
- 1 cup currants or raisins
- 2 cup heavy cream (divided)
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
- 8 cup rustic bread (slightly stale and cut into 1‑inch cubes)
- 3 cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened)
Heat ½ cup bourbon in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat until warm. Place the currants or raisins in a small bowl and pour the warm bourbon on top; let stand at least 1 hour or overnight.
Make the bourbon sauce: In a small saucepan set over medium heat bring 1‑cup cream to a simmer. In a small bowl whisk cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the warm cream together to create a slurry; slowly whisk the slurry into the remaining warm cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils add the ¼ cup sugar and reduce heat to very low. Whisk constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ¼ cup bourbon. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together bread, milk, and remaining 1‑cup cream. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, remaining 1 ½ cups sugar, vanilla, salt, and all spice until well combined; add to bread mixture. Stir in the currants or raisins and the bourbon they soaked in.
Butter a 2‑quart shallow baking dish in oven. Pour in bread mixture, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Bake in the heated oven until bread cubes are browned and custard is cooked, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with bourbon sauce. Reheat the sauce gently with ½ teaspoon water if necessary.