"Bread pudding is a rite of passage for pastry chefs in New Orleans," says the owner of Willa Jean bakery and author of The Good Book of Southern Baking. "This is an easy go-to for all occasions!"

By People Staff
August 27, 2020 10:24 AM
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Credit: Jennifer Causey

"Bread pudding is a rite of passage for pastry chefs in New Orleans," says the owner of Willa Jean bakery and author of The Good Book of Southern Baking"This is an easy go-to for all occasions!"

Kelly Fields' Bread Pudding with Caramel-Rum Sauce

2 cups whole milk

1 Tbsp. grated orange zest (from 1 orange)

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 3/4 cups cold heavy whipping cream, divided

2 cups granulated sugar, divided

2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

10 cups (1 1/2-in.) crustless stale white bread pieces (from 12 pieces)

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup (6 oz.) dark rum

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1. Whisk together milk, zest, eggs, cinnamon, 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in bread, cover, and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan with butter, pour in bread mixture. Bake in oven until golden brown and set in middle, 65 to 75 minutes, rotating pan after 35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add corn syrup, rum, salt, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla to pan; stir to combine. Return pan to heat over medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Scoop warm bread pudding onto serving plates. Ladle warm sauce over pudding, and serve.

Quick tip! "I love using any bread I have around — hello, banana bread! — and making this recipe ahead," says Fields. "Warm it in the oven while you're eating dinner, sauce and all, and it'll be ready when you are."

Serves: 12

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes