Cortlandt’s Bread Pudding
A whiskey-brown sugar sauce bolstered by roasted cashews and pecans is what gives this bread pudding sublime flavor and satisfying texture.
Yield: serves 12
For the Bread Pudding and Whiskey Sauce
- 1⁄2 lb. butter, plus more for pan
- 1 1⁄3 cups plus 5 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup whiskey
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted whole cashews
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1"-thick slices
For the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 6 tbsp. brown sugar
- 4 tsp. whiskey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Make the whiskey sauce: Put butter and 1 1⁄3 cups brown sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon until butter melts, then stop stirring and continue cooking until syrup reaches 280° on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in cream, whiskey, cashews, pecans, and 1 tbsp. vanilla, then set aside.
- Make the bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a medium baking dish and set aside. Beat together milk, remaining brown sugar, eggs, remaining vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Soak bread slices in milk mixture, then fit snugly in a single layer in prepared dish (you may have to squeeze slices together). Pour any remaining milk mixture over bread. Spoon two-thirds of the whiskey sauce over bread and bake until crusty and brown, 45–50 minutes.
- Make the whipped cream: Beat together heavy cream, sugar, whiskey, and vanilla in a bowl until soft peaks form. Serve bread pudding with reserved whiskey sauce and whipped cream.