FRENCH BREAD PUDDING WITH MAPLE SAUCE AND THE BIG O

  • Serving: 8
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly paced brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup rum
  • ¼ cup The Big O
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly diced
  • 1cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • 1 day-old French baguette, or 5 regular size croissants, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream for whipping
  • Boiling water, as needed
  • Maple Sauce: 1-cup maple syrup; juice of ½ lime; 2 tablespoons The Big O; 2 tablespoons water
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter.  Add the milk, 2 cups cream, vanilla, rum, The Big O, pears, and raisins.  Gently stir with the bread and let stand until mixture is completely absorbed by bread, at least 2 hours or overnight.  In a small bowl, whip 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Butter the inside of the loaf pan or spray with Pam.  Transfer the bread mixture to the pan.  Place the pan in a larger baking pan and pour boiling water into baking pan to reach halfway up sides of loaf pan.  Bake the bread pudding until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through; keep warm. To serve, remove pudding from oven and cool slightly.  Cut pudding into slices. Top each serving with a spoonful of warm maple sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.