Bread Pudding & Rum Sauce
Classic Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Rum Sauce
This recipe uses both vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste for an extra burst of flavour. For the best texture, don’t skimp on the soaking time or baking in the water bath, if possible.
For bread pudding:
1 Tablespoon butter, for greasing pan
16 ounces stale artisan bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon Heilala vanilla extract
For vanilla bean rum sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon Heilala vanilla bean paste
For bread pudding:
Butter a 2-quart capacity glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange bread in an even layer in the bottom of the dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the half and half just until very hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Continue whisking until thick and light in color. While whisking, drizzle the hot half and half into the eggs in a slow, steady stream. After all of the half and half has been added, whisk in the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. They will float to the top. Use a wooden spoon to press them down a bit so they start to absorb the custard. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes or several hours to allow bread to soak up most of custard mixture.
To bake - remove the pan from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lay a dish towel on the bottom of a large, rimmed roasting pan. Set the baking dish on top of the towel. Cover the pudding tightly with foil. Bring a few quarts of water to a rolling boil in a tea kettle or pot.
Place the roasting pan onto the oven rack and carefully pour the boiling water into the pan. The water should come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. (If the roasting pan isn’t deep enough, just pour in as much water as possible without causing it to overflow.)
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Start checking on the pudding after about an hour as variations in oven temperatures may cause the pudding to cook more quickly. The center should still be a little jiggly, but feel set. For a nicely browned top, remove foil for the last 10 to 15 minutes baking time.
Remove from the pudding from the roasting pan and place on a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.
While the pudding is baking, prepare vanilla bean rum sauce.
For vanilla bean rum sauce: In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt to remove any lumps. Whisk in the heavy cream and rum.
Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and add the vanilla bean paste. Pour into a pitcher or bowl and keep warm until ready to serve. Can be made 2-3 days in advance and warmed up before serving.
Makes about 1 1/4 cups of sauce.