My grandmother had the Best New Orleans Style Bread Pudding Recipe without a doubt. It is still one of my favorite desserts. Imagine my surprise on my first trip to New Orleans to discover all Bread Pudding is NOT alike!
There are actually several variations of this dessert. My grandmother’s version is a variation of a traditional dessert popular in British Cuisine. It is called bread and butter pudding and is often confused with bread pudding. Cubed bread is placed in a pan and then covered with an egg mixture to make a custard. After it is baked, the bread rises to the top to form a “crust” like topping. It tastes similar to French toast. The egg mixture forms a rich custard pudding at the bottom. Of course, my grandmother added her secret spices to give this a sweet nutmeg flavor. It is absolutely wonderful!
Louisiana New Orleans bread pudding is made entirely differently and is just as good. The common ingredient is stale bread, but that is where the similarities end. The bread pudding consistency is similar to a moist cake and is warm served with a wonderful vanilla, whiskey, or rum sauce. The smell is heavenly and if you get a chance to visit New Orleans, this is a MUST have dessert that is served at most restaurants.
The following recipe, a specialty of my New Orleans sister-in-law, is a requested dessert at holidays, parties or any special occasion. The secret to this recipe is the bread. Stale french bread is the best. Use the long narrow loaves, if available. No matter what size pan she uses, it is always empty at the end of our family gatherings!
Best Bread Pudding Recipe
6 – 8 cups stale bread, broken in cubes
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 large can fruit cocktail, drained
3/4 can condensed milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raisins
Combine milks, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg. Fold in bread and stir. Mixture should be very moist.
Add fruit cocktail and raisins. Mix well. Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 1 hour or until top is golden brown. Serve warm with whiskey sauce.
You can leave out the raisins. Try adding blueberries, peaches, or apples.
Although my grandmother’s recipe is still one of my favorite desserts, I can truthfully say that this is the Best Bread Pudding Recipe – New Orleans Style!