Doughnut Bread Pudding with Bourbon Custard Sauce & Happy Birthday!

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While Laura and I were gallivanting around Lexington making the The Lexington List, we decided that we needed to follow up the post with a recipe that captures the best of Lexington.  Also, Laura’s birthday is coming up this week, so a dessert was in order. (When is a dessert not in order?) Lexington + dessert = doughnut bread pudding with bourbon custard sauce, using Lexington-made doughnuts, of course. Bread pudding 1 We stopped by North Lime Coffee and Doughnuts and picked up a dozen doughnuts to use in the recipe.  The doughnuts needed to sit out overnight so they could get a bit stale (the better to soak up custard, my dear).  It should go without saying that the chances of a box of wonderful, fresh glazed doughnuts making it overnight unscathed are nil in my house – and even less than nil if the doughnuts are from North Lime.  Within an hour, we ate three, so we used nine in the recipe the next day.  Nine is more than enough for this bread pudding; however, I strongly recommend buying a whole dozen and just eating three yourself. The bread pudding recipe is adapted from my grandmother Erlene.  It’s more pudding-y than some bread puddings that I’ve seen recently, so serve it with a spoon.  If you prefer your bread pudding more firm, you could always add a few more doughnuts (like the three that you ate…) or cut back on the milk mixture.  You can serve the bourbon sauce on the side in a little pitcher, letting each person pour their own – or you can just dump it on top and let it soak in.  Whatever suits your Lexingtonian fancy. bread pudding 3This recipe makes one big 9×13 pan of pudding, or you can pour it into two smaller dishes, which is what we did.  The pudding is baked in a water bath, so be sure that you have a pan of a slightly larger size than your serving dish to serve as the bath.  Also, you can substitute other kinds of doughnuts, but be sure to have at least 8 cups of pieces. So, here’s one last (really, this is the last) salute to Lexington! And here’s a salute to Laura, the best friend and blogging buddy I could ask for!  May this next year be full of laughter, amazing meals, peace, good beer, and unexpected blessings!

Doughnut Bread Pudding with Bourbon Custard Sauce

sauce adapted from Betty Crocker

For the bread pudding:

8 cups stale broken doughnut pieces (about 9 large doughnuts)
6 cups milk
4 1/4 tbs. butter
2 tbs. + 1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs

1. The night before making the bread pudding, tear up the doughnuts into 2-inch bits and let them sit out overnight.
2. When you’re ready the make the pudding: Prepare the water bath.  Take a dish slightly larger than your baking dish (or dishes), and place it in the oven on a rack positioned near the middle.  Fill the dish with about 1 1/2 inches of water.  Close the oven and preheat to 350F.
3. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk and butter until little bubbles form around the edges.  Do not let the milk boil.  Set the mixture aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
4. In  the meantime, transfer the doughnut pieces to an ovenproof dish (either a 9×13 or two smaller dishes).  In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, and eggs.  When the milk mixture is slightly cooled, slowly add the egg mixture, whisking until incorporated.  Then pour the entire mixture over the doughnut pieces until it covers nearly all of the pieces.
5. Carefully – really carefully! – place the dish in the water bath.  Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  When the pudding is done, be extremely careful removing it from the water bath.  While the pudding is baking, make the bourbon sauce.

For the bourbon sauce:
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. bourbon

1. In a small saucepan, stir together the milk and whipping cream.  Heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edges, and  then remover the pan from the heat.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened.
2. Slowly pour about a third of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking all the while.  Return the mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove it from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and bourbon.  Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to serve it.

*To serve, you can pour the custard sauce over the top or serve plain and let everyone add their own sauce. Your preference!