Truthfully, this dessert accidentally wound up being far more festive than ever anticipated. The golden raisins turned just as the leaves in autumn, and the warm spiced rum and vanilla are so incredibly comforting. I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was requested to be made for Christmas as well. I absolutely found my new favorite winter dessert.
Vanilla Rum Bread Pudding with Vanilla Rum Crème Anglaise and Golden Raisins (makes 8 heaping portions) *emphasize heaping adapted from my awesome boss, Jodie.
Vanilla Rum Crème Anglaise
•2 cups half-and-half
•½ vanilla bean
•5 large egg yolks
•¼ c sugar
•2 Tbsp spiced rum (or to taste)
-In a small saucepan bring half and half just to a boil with vanilla bean and remove pan from heat.
-Scrape seeds from bean with a knife into half-and-half.
-In a bowl whisk together yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk in
hot half-and- half in a stream.
-Return custard to pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened (170 degrees on a candy thermometer), but do not let boil.
-Pour sauce into a bowl and cool in an icebath, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in rum. Chill sauce, covered, until very cold, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
•2 c golden raisins
Prepare a 2x batch of Simple Syrup (recipe below).
Add around 2 cups of golden raisins to simple syrup in saucepan and boil rapidly for about 7 minutes, until raisins are plump. Remove from heat and allow raisins to cool and rest in syrup until ready to use.
•Sugar 6 oz
•Vanilla bean, split 1
(Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved)
(Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla to infuse for 30 min)
•1 loaf of butter split top white bread (or whatever white bread you prefer)
•1 pint heavy cream
•1 pint half and half
•6 ounces sugar
•pinch of nutmeg
•pinch of salt
•5 large eggs
•¼ cup vanilla
•¼ cup spiced rum (more or less to taste)
*few tablespoons butter for buttering ramekins
*cinnamon for garnish
-Gather 8 large baking dishes and 2 13x9 baking dishes, (I found GIANT cordon bleu ramekins at Gordman’s for 1.30 each I believe. It took a lot of self-control to not buy everyone they had in stock. They’re cute and will be great for potpies, cobblers, crisps, soups, everything! If you have a Gordman’s in your area I’d definitely check it out) and butter them liberally.
-Place 4 buttered ramekins in a 13x9 dish and fill halfway with water and do the same with the remaining 4 ramekins and other 13x9 baking dish. Water baths are CRUCIAL in moist bread pudding.
-Chop bread into large cubes.
-Fill ramekins with equal amounts of bread and set aside.
-Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream, half and half, sugar, nutmeg, salt, eggs, vanilla, and rum until fully mixed.
-Pour mixture into each bread filled ramekin equally. Smoosh (technical term, eh) bread into liquid cream mixture so the bread can absorb the liquid. Bread should be moist, but not floating.
-Cover 13x9 dishes with foil and cut slits for venting.
-Bake at 200 F for about 30 mins. Uncover and allow to bake another 15 mins until bread is golden brown and liquid is no longer runny.
Run knife around each bread pudding. Carefully place serving plate on top ramekin and flip upside down. Give it a good shake until you feel the bread pudding has released. Drizzle liberal amount vanilla Rum Crème anglaise on top bread pudding and top with a few tablespoons of plump raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!