Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

There are two styles of bread pudding.  There’s the creamy custardy type with chunks of identifiable bread.  The other type is a dense, heavy (bordering on clunky) style that can be sliced into wedges.  I enjoy both.  The denser, sliceable style opens itself up to a number of sauce options.  Warmed compote, sabayon, whisky sauce, and chocolate sauce would top my list of favorites.  But, a simple dusting of powdered sugar works, too.

When it comes to chocolate bread pudding, the soft creamy comforting custard style wins the battle every time.  But, when it comes to a raisin pudding.  The dense version slides into the picture.  It allows a sprinkling of bread crumbs and granulated sugar to hover on top and bake into an effortless crumb-like topping.

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

4 cups fresh bread crumbs, processed to thick crumbs
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 2%)
1 heaping cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins, plumped in rum


1/4 cup bread crumbs (coarsely processed, if desired)
1/4 cup sugar
drizzle of light olive oil

Combine all ingredients (including up to 1/4 cup of the soaking rum) in a large mixing bowl.  Allow the mixture to sit while you preheat the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (approximately 10 minutes)

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients and stir to combine.  Pour bread pudding mixture into a buttered casserole dish.  Top with crumb topping mixture.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
(Or, with one of the sauces mentioned above)

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