This recipe is part of a Southern Christmas Dinner. It is adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table (Artisan). The recipe was adapted from “Eating Southern Style” (originally, “A Taste of the South”) by Terry Thompson Anderson (HP Books).
1-pound loaf French or other quality white bread, cut into 1-inch chunks or smaller
1 quart whole milk
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup high quality Bourbon
1)Put the bread in a bowl and pour the milk over. Set aside for 30 to 60 minutes. As the bread softens, break up any larger pieces. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
2)In a medium-size bowl, beat 3 of the eggs until frothy. Stir in 2 cups of the sugar until well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.
3)Add the sugar and egg mixture to the bread and milk. Combine well and pour into the baking dish. Let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes or refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature for 10 minutes before baking.
4)Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5)Bake pudding until set, about 1 hour.
6)Meanwhile, make the bourbon sauce by combining the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the remaining 1 cup of sugar on the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Whisk until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl beat the remaining egg until frothy. Then gradually whisk it in to the butter-sugar mixture. Remove from the heat and stir in the Bourbon. If done more than 30 minutes ahead of time, gently reheat, whisking constantly. Makes 10-12 servings.