Friday, January 22, 2010

Bread Pudding With Rum Sauce - a recipe

Marilyn and I collect old New Orleans cookbooks and this week she found Creole Feast – 15 Master Chefs of New Orleans Reveal Their Secrets. This extraordinary cookbook, published in 1978 and written by Nathaniel Burton and Rudolph Lombard, features a recipe for one of my favorite desserts, one I always order whenever visiting the Crescent City.

This recipe is by Austin Leslie, master chef and one-time owner of Chez Helene, a wonderful New Orleans restaurant no longer in business. After being trapped in an attic for two days by Hurricane Katrina Leslie died in September 2005. He was the first person honored by a jazz funeral after Katrina in what was then a largely deserted Big Easy.

Austin Leslie, also known as the Godfather of Fried Chicken, was the inspiration for the short-lived television show Frank’s Place. If you are like me, an aficionado of fried chicken, you really should read the book, if only for his personal description of the absolute best way to cut up a chicken and fry it.

Chicken wasn’t the only thing Austin Leslie knew how to cook; he could also prepare wonderful deserts. I’ve published other bread pudding recipes and every one is slightly different. If you enjoy bread pudding as much as I, give this one a try because it is a good one.

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

1 loaf stale French bread
¼ can evaporated milk
1 pound butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ pound raisins
1 small can crush pineapple
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
¼ cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wet the bread and squeeze the water out of it. Melt the butter and mix with all other ingredients. Pour mixture into a well-greased 4 x 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 2 ½ hours. The pudding will rise in the first hour. After an hour, remove pan from oven and stir the mixture to tighten it. Return to the oven for the second hour of cooking.

Rum Sauce

¼ stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup rum

Place all ingredients in double boiler and cook for 10 minutes. Beat until fluffy. Serves 10

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