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Pecan Bread Pudding

Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!
Serving size: 4
Preparation time: about 1hour 15 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient:

1 quart bread cubes - buttered, toasted, French bread
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 1/3 cups milk
2/3 cup light cream
1 1/3 tablespoons bourbon
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
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2 2/3 ounces dark brown sugar
2 2/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup pecan halves
2 2/3 tablespoons melted butter
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1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
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4 tablespoons melted butter -- for toasted bread

Preparation:

Toasted Bread: Use crusty French Bread cut into 1" cubes, tossed with 4 TBSP melted butter: bake in a 350 degree oven until golden, 15 - 20 minutes. Pudding: In an oven-proof 8"x8" cake pan or baking dish, place the raisins and the toasted bread. Mix the milk, cream, bourbon, vanilla, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip or beat with a mixer. Pour mixture through a strainer into the raisin-bread mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes; then bob the toasted bread in the milk mixture to soften slightly. Bake at 350 degrees in a water bath for 50 minutes, or until a cake tester pulls out cleanly. Pecan topping: Place all topping ingredients in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a slow boil, stirring often. Be sure that all of the butter is dissolved. Pour evenly over the baked bread pudding. Cool slightly; then serve with whipped cream.

Whipped cream/Creme Chantilly: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 6 TBSP. confectioners sugar.