emeraldowl

Weekly Boozer: Baking with Bourbon

In Baking, Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

Bourbon is by far one of my favorite booze to cook with. It marries well with so many flavors.  Like cherries, pecans, bread… like Makers Mark Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding. Whew. That’s a big name! But, it is what it is and that would be fantastically delicious, comforting and worth repeating. Remember baking is just like cooking with alcohol – choose something you would drink as the flavor is transferred and sometimes amplified.  Taste tests may be necessary before baking 😉  If you don’t want the alcoholic version Makers Mark sells bottled cherries that have had the alcohol cooked off  which = all the flavor, nix the booze.

Makers Mark Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 5 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Note)
    1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup Makers Mark Cherries*, diced 
     
    I made my Makers Mark Cherries by purchasing a jar of maraschino cherries, draining the juice completely and replacing with Makers Mark. I placed the mixture in the fridge for one week; shaking the contents daily.  This means of course these cherries have alcohol in them, unlike the store product. ~ you can also soak dried cherries in bourbon overnight before baking.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch baking dish.

To make the bread pudding, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream, half & half, vanilla and vanilla seed. Then toss in the bread cubes, pecans and chopped cherries(drained). Allow the bread to soak up the custard before adding to the prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden color and is firm to the touch. It will expand in the dish/oven, but should remain moist and an inserted toothpick should come out clean. Let cool to room temperature.

Note: I made a bourbon creme anglaise to accompany my bread pudding and to compliment the flavor – both are subtle so they work well together. Bourbon Creme Anglaise – click here. I added one Tbsp of Vanilla Bean Paste to this recipe.

 

Bread Pudding is like country decadence. This one is slightly sweet, has a nice crunch from the pecans and a little warmth from the bourbon.  This dessert could be made ahead as it is twice as nice the second day.  On another note, I kept my Makers Mark Cherry juice and am excited to create a cocktail with it!! Happy baking!

 

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