Acadian Bread Pudding
Chef Patrick Mould gives his bread pudding a pedigree. The Acadians were French immigrants who, driven from Canada by the British, settled in Louisiana. Their descendants are today’s Cajuns. This very traditional bread pudding comes with lagniappe: Roasted Pecan-Rum Sauce, meltingly delicious when scooped over bread pudding hot from the oven — and just as good served cold.
- Roasted Pecan-Rum Sauce
- Pecan Halves - 1/2 cup
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 2 cups
- Sugar - 4 tablespoons
- Light Rum - 4 tablespoons
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Water - 1 tablespoon
- Orange Zest - 1 teaspoon
- Day-old French Bread Cubes - 6 cups, cubed
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Ground Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- Milk - 3-1/2 cups
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook the cream for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and rum. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Combine the cornstarch and water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add this mixture to the cream and stir over heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the orange zest and pecans.
Place the bread in a greased 8-by-12-inch greased baking dish. With a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the nutmeg and the cinnamon and beat in the milk, then the butter, on low speed. Pour the milk-egg mixture over the bread. Let sit for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 300 F and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until puffy and browned. Remove from the oven.
To serve: Serve hot or slightly cooled. Scoop the bread pudding to bowls and spoon the sauce over and around the pudding.