Most restaurants in the South include “Bread Pudding” on their menus; it is a popular dessert offering here in Louisiana. The baked bread and egg custard is sweet and rich, often accompanied with Rum Sauce. But, I have to admit that I never really liked this dessert. That is until I discovered Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme’s version from the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans. His version is sweet and light with aromatic pecans; accompanied by a Lemon Sauce and Chantilly Cream. It will turn you into a “Bread Pudding” believer.
His dessert recipe was published in Bon Appetite magazine in April 1984. I served the dessert at many catering events and always received rave complements. That was back in the years when I was involved in food service and catering.
When my son mentioned that he and his college roommates made bread pudding using fresh baked pumpkin pulp and rum, I decided to dig up my old Bon Appetite recipe to use as a guide. Never to throw a good recipe away, I actually located the recipe. My son didn’t include quantities of ingredients, and they needed some adjusting for the pumpkin anyway. And I bake it differently. Well, it’s a new recipe now. The result was great.
Tips on making the recipe:
- I’m sort of particular when making bread pudding. The only bread I use is French bread. And the more stale the bread, the better. Thus, I either purchase discounted day old bread, or purchase the bread several days in advance. The dried, course French bread absorbs the milk and eggs better and it doesn’t become soggy.
- Toasting the pecans really intensifies the flavor. I never omit this step or omit the pecans.
- The tart lemon sauce complements Prudhomme’s bread pudding nicely. However, for the pumpkin pie spice flavor, I like rum sauce. According to my son’s instructions, he just doused the rum on top of the pudding.
- This can be served with whipped cream or ice cream (as pictured.)
A printable form of the recipe is included in my blog post at mayleeskitchen.com