Reader Recipe
Maple Bread Pudding With Toasted Bourbon Pecans

$250 Prizewinner

“There seems to be three things you can always find in our home: pecans, maple syrup and Texas bourbon,” Potts says. “I just started combining everything until I came up with something that worked. The consensus was this was fantastic, and everyone asked for more.”

Pudding
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 loaf French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces

Maple Sauce
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pecans
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup bourbon
3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup roughly chopped pecans

1. Pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add milk, cream, butter, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix well. Add bread pieces into the mixture until the liquid has been absorbed. Pour into pan.

3. Bake approximately 55 minutes or until pudding is firm.

4. Maple Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat. In a bowl, mix together sugars and cornstarch. Pour into the melted butter and continue to cook on low heat, stirring constantly until sugars are dissolved. Add in cream, maple syrup and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Set aside.

5. Pecans: In a skillet on low heat, melt butter. Slowly add maple syrup and bourbon and mix well, then stir in brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stirring slowly, add pecans. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until thick. Mixture can burn quickly, so do not leave unattended.

6. To serve, cut warm bread pudding into portions and pour warm sauce over each. Top with bourbon-toasted pecans.

Serves 12–14.

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