If you’re looking for a warm, fall-inspired dessert that could be served at a high-end gastropub, look no further than The Pinewood’s Vanilla Bourbon Bread Pudding. Found in Kate Parham Kordsmeier’s cookbook Atlanta Chef’s Table, this recipe – along with over 100 others – highlights the culinary expertise of chefs from Atlanta’s thriving food scene.
The Pinewood’s Vanilla-Bourbon Bread Pudding
Created by Chef Mike Blydenstein
3 cups whole milk, divided
4 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup bourbon, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 medium loaves challah bread or brioche, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup bourbon, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 8 eggs, and light brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture over bread pieces in another large mixing bowl, combining with your hands to ensure the bread has absorbed all of the liquid.
2. Liberally spray a 12 x 10 x 3-inch baking pan with nonstick pan spray. Spread the bread mixture evenly in the pan and cover with foil. Bake until a pick or skewer pulls cleanly from the center, about 45-60 minutes.
3. While the bread bakes, make the bourbon sauce by dissolving the confectioners’ sugar in 1 cup milk, 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once mixture is simmering, add the remaining 1/4 cup bourbon and cornstarch and slowly whisk to thicken the sauce.
4. To serve, drizzle the bourbon sauce over the baked bread.
Optional: Top with vanilla bean ice cream or serve for breakfast as a substitute for French Toast and top with caramelized-spiced apples.