With Saint Patrick’s Day a little over a week away, we’re heading straight to dessert! Don’t worry, we’ll have some traditional main course recipes for you later in the week. This Green Monday we’re sharing a time-honored Irish favorite from L.A. based chef Geri Gilliland, Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce.
To be honest, St. Paddy’s Day never really meant a whole lot to me prior to meeting Pam. It really just meant bad Irish accents on the radio and cheap green beer. But that all changed after trying the first bite of this Bread Pudding, a dish she makes every year at her annual St. Patrick’s Day party. The first time I attended she said a few words to me that I will pass on to the wht readers, “This is going to be one of the most delicious things you will ever eat.” No truer words have ever been spoken! It’s creamy, warm, sweet yet savory and insanely good.
If you ever find yourself in Santa Monica, you can stop by Finn McCool’s Irish Pub to try Gilliland’s Irish Bread Pudding first hand. Even better, Gilliland shared the recipe with the Los Angeles Times and just like Pam, you can make this incredible dessert at home to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day (or any time you need a little luck of the Irish).
Gilliland’s Irish Bread Pudding With Caramel Whiskey Sauce
• 1/2 cup melted butter
• 12 (1/2-inch thick) white bread slices, crust removed
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/3 cup Irish whiskey, optional
• 2 1/2 cups milk
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
• 8 eggs
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
–Soak raisins in Irish whiskey (if using whiskey, which you should!)
–Brush butter over bread and toast lightly on 1 side. Cube and set aside.
–Combine milk and cream in saucepan. Scoop black seeds from vanilla bean into milk and cream and add pod. Heat, remove pod and allow mixture to cool.
–Beat eggs with 1-cup sugar and add milk mixture. Stir in bread cubes and raisins, and allow to stand 15 minutes.
–Pour bread mixture into buttered glass baking dish. Dot with additional butter. Mix together remaining 1-tablespoon sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over to taste. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 1 hour.
–Serve with Caramel Irish Whiskey Sauce, fresh fruit or as is.
Caramel Irish Whiskey Sauce
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, plus more if needed
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
— Melt sugar in water over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
–In separate pan, warm whipping cream. Add butter and whipping cream to sugar mixture and cook until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool, and then add whiskey and more cream for desired consistency.
Makes 6 servings (each with 1/4 cup sauce).