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This is my grandmother’s recipe, and a New Orleans tradition. French bread was commonly served in New Orleans and my father would often bring home hot French bread from the bakery. The bread was so hot that the butter would melt on the bread before you could take a bite. Leftover French bread made great Bread Pudding and families and restaurants all over the city prepared their version of this dessert. I think it had a special meaning for us when it was served during Christmas because it was reminisce of my father’s English heritage.
Recipe Name: New Orleans Bread Pudding (Served with Crème Anglaise)
French Bread Ingredients:
1 loaf of French bread
3 12 oz. Cans of Evaporated Milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 15 oz. Can of Fruit Cocktail (in Heavy Syrup)*
8 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 ¼ cup Sugar
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Coconut
2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
3 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
Crème Anglaise Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg and 4 egg yokes
1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste
Break French Bread in medium pieces and put into large bowl. Add Milk, Cream and stir until all incorporated. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add vanilla. Add mixture to Bread and stir well. Add Fruit Cocktail (including syrup), sugar, raisins and coconut. Stir until fully incorporated (mixture will be lumpy). Pour mixture in a 10 X 14 casserole pan (greased with butter). Put casserole in pan of water (about 1 inch from the top) Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour 20 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean). Serves about 10-12. *I usually take out the cherries.
Crème Anglaise Directions:
In a small sauce pan, on medium heat, cook milk for about 2 minutes (or until milk is hot). In a small glass bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until dissolved. Add ½ of hot milk to bowl and whisk gently, add this to hot milk mixture and continue to cook. Using a wooden spoon, continue to cook mixture for 5 to 8 minutes, stir constantly (mixture will start to thicken) or until mixture can coat the back of the spoon. Add vanilla paste and gently incorporate into the mixture. Remove from heat and place in glass bowl. Let cool for 1 minutes then cover with plastic wrap (be sure to cover the mixture so it doesn’t form a skin on top of the bowl). Refrigerate until ready to use.