Serves/Makes:One 3-qt casserole, 3" deep
3 T butter (for casserole dish)
1 loaf white bread (fresh homemade is BEST!! and worth the effort)
4 large eggs
3-1/2 cups (825 ml) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy, whipping-style cream
1-1/3 cups (325 ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cinnamon
1/2 c walnuts, FINELY chopped
1 stick BUTTER
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) cognac
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy, whipping-style cream
Butter casserole with 3 tbsp (45 ml) butter.
Cut bread into to 1/2" cubes and place in buttered casserole.
In blender, puree banana, eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Pour liquid over bread cubes and let stand 1 HOUR, pressing down now and then with a spatula to make sure bread cubes are thoroughly wet.
Just prior to baking sprinkle walnuts over top and press into pudding well with the spatula.
Bake at 375 degrees (200 C.) until top is puffed and lightly golden--about 1 hour (Pudding will puff up--may have cracks--and will decrease in size as it cools; THIS IS EXPECTED).
Drizzle Cognac Sauce (recipe below) over top and serve warm.
In large (2-qt capacity) bowl melt the butter.
Whisk in sugar, cognac, water and nutmeg.
Cook in microwave on medium high, stirring well after each minute, until the mixture is well blended and has come to a boil.
Whisk an egg until frothy; then vigorously whisk into the cognac mixture.
Return sauce to microwave and cook on high until thickened--stirring every 30 seconds.
After sauce has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the heavy cream.
Store left over sauce and pudding in the refrigerator--warm in microwave with the sauce on the pudding to serve after it's cold.
I took my grandmother's old, farm-style bread pudding recipe and jazzed it up. It goes over quite well--even people who tell me they don't like bread pudding end up asking for the recipe! (Unlike some dessert sauces that have liquor in them--this one is mild and only serves to compliment to delicate flavor of the bread pudding.)
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