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Pascal’s Manale Bread Pudding

Pascal's Manale_IMG_4393I can’t decide if this post is too early or too late for Mardi Gras.  I’ve always associated bread pudding with Lent for some reason although there is nothing ascetic about pudding drowning in butter and bourbon.  While friends’ feeds filled with street scenes from the parades, I spent Sunday morning, on what felt like the coldest day in Brooklyn, standing over an enormous of red beans with smoked sausage and filling an enormous pan with bread pudding.

I picked the recipe up at Pascal’s Manale a couple of years ago.  I’d gone there for the barbecued shrimp but it was the bread pudding that I’ve been dreaming about since.  I must have looked misty-eyed from my first bite because the waiter gave me a copy of the recipe.  It was lovely of him to think of it, but I don’t think I was unique.  They must keep a stack of photocopied recipes at the ready to hand out to new converts – a pre-internet throwback.  They can afford to be generous.  Like so many places in New Orleans, they can give away all their secrets and people will still come because there’s just nothing like being there.

Pascal’s Manale Bread Pudding
I made some adjustments to reduce the recipe from it’s restaurant proportions.  Even after cutting in half, there was still enough to bring to a friends party and send to my next-door neighbors – anything to keep myself from diving into head first.  I halved the topping as well but there was still plenty leftover.  You can find the original recipe here.

The original recipe called for French bread, but the bread I had at the restaurant was closer to the soft Italian bread loaves they sell in Brooklyn bakeries so that’s what I used.

For the pudding:
2 loaves French bread, cubed (see header)
8 ounces raisins
4 cups whole milk
¼ pound (about ½ cup) sugar
5 large eggs
¼  pound unsalted butter, melted
1½ ounces pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
½ pound butter, softened to room temperature
¼ pound (about ½ cup) sugar
1½ ounces brandy
1 ounce pure vanilla extract

13 x 9-inch ceramic baking pan

Cut the bread into cubes. Pour the milk over the bread and let it soak into the bread. Add the remaining ingredients to the bread mixture. Mix until blended evenly. Pour the mixture into the ungreased baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

In the mean time, prepare the topping. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the brandy and vanilla and beat until blended and smooth. Pour over the bread pudding.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I can’t wait to try to make this! I haven’t even tried the original at the restaurant, so odds are pretty good that I’ll be thrilled with the outcome! Pinned it!

    17 February 2015
  2. Recipe?

    17 February 2015
  3. gourmet.gourmand #

    Omg…… i LOVE bread pudding. And this recipe looks seriously legit.

    18 February 2015
  4. I am gearing up new recipes for Easter Sunday……..
    I bet this will be so good as one of my dessert entrees…..can’t wait to make it.

    18 February 2015
  5. misenplacememoir #

    Yes, bread pudding is magic stuff. I worked at Arnauds in the 80’s and made the bread pudding among other things. Years later in Florida I competed in the mystery box culinary competition and thankfully there was a loaf a bread because cooking is an art, baking a science and I had very little baking in my mental repertoire. The judges loved my bread pudding with rum sauce and I got a silver medal because of it.

    20 February 2015
  6. Reblogged this on ilsafun.

    28 February 2015
  7. If anyone wanted to take me down all they’d have to do is make me a pan of bread pudding like this one. Add some brandy and I’m a goner.

    3 March 2015

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