River House Bread Pudding
Inspired by one served at Noble's Grille many years ago. A few tweaks - so I can take full credit.
Jimmy Noble is an incredible chef, an innovative, enterprising, indomitable restaurateur and one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest men in the world!
Of course there were those early days when no amount of "shhushing" on my part quelled the late night hilarity on the upstairs porch of the Glendale Springs Inn. Later on, quieter homey Sunday evenings at River House, just us - Karen and Jimmy and gorgeous five-year-old Margaux who delivered plates from the kitchen to the table one at a time with determined two-hand attention.
That was a while back.
Now we dare not take the Bread Pudding off the River House menu. And Sundays are no longer quiet.
1/4 C. dried currants
1/4 (generous) C. cognac
Butter and sugar for coating ramekins
6 C. (about 6 oz.) French-style bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 T. melted butter
1/3 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. milk
3/4 C. cream
Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
Vanilla Sauce (recipe below)
Soak currants in cognac at least 1 hour, or overnight. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter, then sugar 6 individual ramekins (3/4 cup each).
In a large bowl, toss cubed bread with melted butter. In separate bowl, beat eggs with sugar and add milk and cream; mix with bread. Let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the brandied currants, mix well and spoon into the ramekins.
Place ramekins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes until puffed and golden.
Coat 6 dessert plates with Caramel Sauce and decorate with Vanilla Sauce. Holding a ramekin with a mitt or potholder, loosen the pudding with your fingers or by running a knife around the edge. Very carefully tilt the pudding into your other hand and quickly onto the prepared plate. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.
1 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. water
1 C. heavy cream