American Bread and Butter Pudding

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Recipe by Kim Laidlaw , based on Simon Hopkinson's recipe from "Roast Chicken and Other Stories"

Yield: 2-8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons (sweet not peaty) whisky or dark rum
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 thick slices of stale challah bread
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • small pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the whisky to plump. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold all of the bread with butter.
  2. Spread the sliced challah thickly and evenly with the 4 tablespoons butter, then cut the slices in half crosswise.
  3. Drain the raisins, reserving the whisky. Lay the challah slices in the dish so they overlap slightly, sprinkling the raisins in between the bread slices.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, salt, cinnamon (if using), and reserved whisky. Pour over the bread evenly. Let stand for about 30 minutes so the bread soaks up the custard (I occasionally press down on the bread for extra absorption).
  5. Bake the pudding until crisp and brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving big scoops. It is delicious with lightly whipped cream.
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