From, "River Road Recipes IV...Warm Welcomes," published in cooperation with your Daily Inbox Newsletter.

INGREDIENTS for Bread Pudding:
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 1-1/2 cups warm water

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 loaf dry French bread, torn into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon

INGREDIENTS for Hard Sauce:
  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup rum, brandy or whiskey

  • 2 teaspoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pudding, beat the sugar and butter in a deep 2-quart baking dish.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the evaporated milk, warm water, vanilla and salt.  Immerse the bread into the egg mixture until coated.  Fold in the raisins and cinnamon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

For the sauce, scald the milk in a saucepan.  Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs in a bowl until blended and stir in the milk.  Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the rum, butter and vanilla and spoon the warm sauce over the warm pudding.

While it is true that different types of bread will change the consistency of the pudding, the end result is always good, so use whichever type of bread you prefer.  Dry bread works best since it soaks up the custard well and is also excellent for French toast.  This hearty dessert is the perfect finale to an "end of the season" hunter's feast and can be prepared in advance.

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