River House Bread Pudding

We are counting on Rob and Penny, the King Bees, to warm things up! They will be here for the Salon next Sunday afternoon, January 14th, and our menu will be New Orleans-inspired to compliment the "blues."

We hear they make a great bread pudding down in New Orleans. Here is ours:


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

2 eggs

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. 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 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the brandied currants, mix well and spoon into the ramekins. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

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 warm 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 then quickly onto the prepared plate so the top is on top. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.


Caramel Sauce

1 C. granulated sugar

1/4 C. water

1 C. heavy cream

In a medium-size saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, melt sugar and water over low heat. Increase heat to medium; cover and cook until deep golden in color. Do not stir but shake the pan gently. Check often to avoid overcooking. Remove from heat and immediately add cream. (Don’t worry if sauce seizes up.) Return to low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour into a Pyrex cup.

This makes about 1 1/2 cups, more than needed for the bread pudding recipe above, but it keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious on ice cream or poached pears or… or. Just re-warm in the microwave or in a pan of hot water.


Vanilla Sauce

6 egg yolks

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 1/2 C. milk, heated

1/2 vanilla bean

Heat milk with ½ split vanilla bean, scraping out the inside if the bean. In the top of a double boiler, whisk egg yolks with sugar. Add hot milk and vanilla bean and cook over gently boiling water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the spoon and a finger run across the spoon leaves a path. Take care not to overcook. Strain through a sieve into a bowl or large cup. Refrigerate.

This also makes more than needed for the bread pudding but is wonderful on berries or with poached pears and caramel sauce.


Nothing to it! Of course you can just come stay at River House.

Off-season rates apply.