bread pudding with whiskey sauce a la brennan

I would venture to say that almost every fine dining restaurant in New Orleans features some form of bread pudding on its dessert menu. None is probably better than that served at the original Brennan’s on Royal Street, whose recipe is found in their cookbook, sold on the premises, which we proudly possess and use as the basis of our version. Although its accompaniment is advertised to be whiskey sauce, Brennan’s recipe calls for brandy. I retain their specification in my recipe, below, but I do make other, more dietetic substitutions for their use of eggs, sugar, and butterfat.

I must admit that I have not eaten the bread puddings of any* of the Brennan restaurants, and we have dined at least five of them. However, it is hard to believe their product is significantly more delicious than my slimmed-down version below.

Pudding
  • 10 slices day old bread, cubed
  • 4 cups fat-free milk, scalded
  • 1 cup fat-free half and half cream
  • 1 cup egg substitute (X)
  • 1 cup <sugar>
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup melted <butter>
  • ½ cup seedless raisins

Combine bread, milk, and cream. In a separate bowl, add X and <sugar> and mix well. Stir in the bread mixture and add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in <butter> and raisins. Pour into buttered two quart baking dish, set in a pan of warm water about one inch deep. Bake in 350F oven for one hour or inserting a knife in the center comes out clean.

If you insist, in the whiskey sauce below, use whiskey. The result will be more Southern, perhaps (although it is hard to farther into the deep South than New Orleans).

Whiskey Sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup <sugar>
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cup fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup egg substitute (X)
  • 1½ oz brandy, or to taste

In a saucepan mix together cornstarch, water, <sugar>, vanilla, and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened and taste of cornstarch has subsided. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. Then, while whisking away, drizzle in the X. Return to heat while continuing to whisk and cook until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat again and whisk in the brandy.

Serve warm or cold.

Makes 8 servings