"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Monday, February 8, 2010

Banana Walnut Bread Pudding With Buttery Rum Sauce

Yield: 12 to 18 servings
For bread pudding:

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
8 cups day-old French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (toast if fresh)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 pinch salt
5 tablespoons banana liqueur
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 small)

For buttery rum sauce:

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup rum or less to taste
Whipped cream, for garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Step 1: Prepare the bread pudding. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on a baking sheet; toast in oven just until they begin to darken and become fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; set aside. Turn off the oven.

Step 2: Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat; pour butter over bread cubes. Using a rubber spatula, toss to evenly distribute the butter.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and banana liqueur. Pour over bread cubes; stir to combine. Let sit for 30 for 45 minutes, until bread has absorbed most of the liquid.

Step 4: Return the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

Step 5: Stir mashed bananas and walnuts into bread mixture. Pour into baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and crispy and the pudding is firm in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove pudding from oven; let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Step 6: While the pudding bakes, prepare the rum sauce. In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan combine butter, cream, sugar and egg yolk. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately; do not let the sauce boil. Stir in rum. Let sauce cool slightly. (The sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container. Warm gently before serving.)

Step 7: Slice warm bread pudding into squares; top each serving with Buttery Rum Sauce. Garnish with whipped cream and mint sprigs, if desired.

Per serving (based on 12 servings): 632 calories; 35g fat (50 percent calories from fat); 18g saturated fat; 179mg cholesterol; 8.5g protein; 65g carbohydrate; 45g sugar; 2g fiber; 233mg sodium; 151mg calcium; 390mg potassium.

Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse at

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