Bread Pudding

Many years ago when I was a wee 21 years old I opened a little cafe in Denham Springs.  This brilliant business endeavor lasted about 4 months because I fell in love with the plumber and had a very hard time going to work.  If it was raining I would just put up a sign that said "Closed Due to Weather".  Plumbers don't usually work in the rain. ;]  Anyway, my most requested item was bread pudding and continues to be so today.  I have catered off and on since and ran a "homemade meal to go business".  This is what I call my "money" recipe.  It is wonderful, easy, and super versatile.  It is NOT healthy, except for the fact that it feeds your soul when shared with someone you love.

Nicole's Bread Pudding
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
8 cups torn or cubed day old french bread
1/2 cup coconut, optional
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
Mix first 5 ingredients.  Add bread, let sit 30 minutes or more.  Add butter, coconut, and pecans.  Place in 8x11 pan or something similar.  Bake on 325 degrees 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden brown and set in middle.

  Before baking.  Hint, you can adjust the consistency by adding more or less bread.

Rum Sauce
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 can evaporated milk
Rum, to taste, start with about 2 tablespoons
In a small sauce pan melt butter.  Add sugar and flour and whisk for a minute.  Add evaporated milk and simmer until it is hot.  Add rum.

Instead of coconut and pecans you can add ANYTHING.  One thing I love is orange zest and dried cranberries, then for the sauce use Grand Marnier instead of rum.  Another idea is bananas and pineapple, with Malibu Rum sauce.  You can also make a brown sugar, pecan, and cinnamon mixture and just put on top for a cinnamon crunch thing.  Oh the fun you can have with this recipe!


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