Croissant Bread Pudding with Bourbon Bon Ton Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 extra-large whole eggs
8 extra-large egg yolks
5 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally
1 cup raisins (soaked in 1/4 cup bourbon overnight)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Pour mixture through strainer into new bowl. Set the custard mixture aside.

Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter in pan 10 x 15 x 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. Distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants in pan, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking.

Pour the custard over the croissants. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over mixture.  Allow mixture to soak for 10 – 15 minutes, pressing croissants down gently into the custard mixture.

Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up slightly and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with several spoonfuls of Bourbon Bon Ton Sauce.

YIELD: Serves 8-10

Bourbon Bon Ton Sauce

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey

In a small saucepan, melt butter; add sugar and egg, whisking to blend well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture begins to thicken. (Do NOT allow to come to simmer!) Whisk in bourbon to taste. Remove from heat. Whisk again just before serving.