Day-old decadence, part 1

Donut bread pudding with a side of bourbon.

Paula Deen is famous for a version of this, although she packs in a couple of cans of fruit cocktail, complete with that cloying syrup. And a lot more butter. I prefer a slightly more elegant style of bread pudding. Of course, we’re making this thing with day old donuts and a hefty dose of bourbon, so I’m not sure how far we can push the “elegant” tag.

Donut Bread Pudding

1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup bourbon
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Couple of pinches of salt
6 cups chopped, day old donuts (yeast-raised)
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Soak raisins in bourbon until full of tasty liquor, approx. 15-30 minutes.
3. Whisk together the sugar, cream, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss mixture with donuts and let stand for approx. 30 minutes.
4. Mix raisins (with the bourbon dregs) and toasted pecans into donut mixture. Pour into greased 9x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and bake approx. 35-45 minutes, until the pudding is set but still springy in the middle.
5. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Slice and serve with optional bourbon butter sauce (below) and/or whipped cream.

Notes:
You’ll need to adjust the sugar upwards if the donuts you’ve picked aren’t exceptionally sweet. Any donuts will do, but avoid jelly- and cream-filled. Regular glazed work best, but chocolate-topped make for an interesting pudding.

If you like more crunchy bits on the top of your bread pudding, reserve about a cup to a cup and a half of the chopped donuts from the soak. Once the mixture is in the pan, sprinkle the reserved donut pieces on top and push until the bottoms catch the liquid. Then brush the top of the pudding with melted butter.

For leftovers, you can reheat slices of pudding in the microwave, or you can angle for more crunch by heating a slice in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, turning so that all sides develop a crust.

Bourbon Butter Sauce

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbs butter
1/2 tsp cornstarch
5 tbs bourbon

Heat half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon and butter until almost boiling. Whisk in cornstarch and bourbon and bring to a boil until thickened, approx. 1 minute or so.

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