New Orleans Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
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A creamy, dreamy, pecan pie bread pudding! This bread pudding is the perfect make ahead desserts to serve during the holidays! It’s totally fuss-free!
Welcome to the sweet smells of pecan pie synced with the creamiest, coziest bread pudding.
The smell of toasty bread all getting together with the gooey, sticky, pecan pie filling. The tender custard. Together they make one deadly dessert – pecan pie bread pudding. It’s my love language.
Let me just point out the big elephant in the room. I can easily say that bread pudding isn’t the most flattering thing to take a picture of. But there comes a time in everyones life where you ask you’re self, are looks really as important as taste? The answer is of course, no.
This buttery pecan pie bread pudding was inspired by a trip to New Orleans that Anees and I took a few Thanksgivings ago with our best couple friends. We actually woke up at the crack of dawn, rented a car and drove the 6 hours it takes to get from Houston to Nawlins on Thanksgiving. I packed a HUGE box of homemade cookies that we enjoyed while guzzling gallons of coffee the whole way there. I know, totally going against the norm of our Thanksgiving tradition, which is to eat, nap, snack, shop and repeat. We did partake in a little midnight Black Friday shopping though, you know, just to keep with tradition ?. It’s seriously one of the most memorable trips Anees and I have ever taken.
And to my surprise the French Quarter was so alive, even on Thanksgiving night. We had shrimp creole and shrimp and grits for dinner. Then for dessert, the most divine bread pudding of all time. Rich, creamy, smooth, and that custard! Heaven!
I of course added a few pecans to the recipe but otherwise, this bread pudding recipe is exactly like the one we enjoyed on our trip.
Let’s get down with pecan pie bread pudding recipe.
It all starts with stale french bread. In fact, the more stale your bread, the better. So if you’ve got a loaf laying around that you totally forgot about MAKE PECAN PIE BREAD PUDDING. That custard really soaks right into the bread when it’s a couple of days old. For the bread, I used a regular old loaf of french bread, you can certainly use Texas toast, a challah loaf, brioche or any other sturdy bread you like.
For the custard we’re literally blending everything you find in a pecan pie together with bread pudding ingredients. Friends. This is dessert. I highly encourage you to use heavy cream for this recipe. Bread pudding is all about that creamy, rich texture and flavor. It needs that ‘cream’ factor to make it extra delicious. Along with that we’ll use half a dozen eggs, milk, melted butter, and a little salt. If it sounds a little outrageous on the calories, keep in mind that this makes a ton. You’ll easily feed 12-14 people with this recipe.
The pecan pie ingredients, light corn syrup, brown sugar, and pecans will also get added right in. Drizzle the custard all over the cubed bread and let it soak it all up for at least an hour. What I love about this bread pudding is that you can actually start preparing it 2 days ahead of time. Allow the bread to soak up the custard overnight. Bake it the next day and allow it to cool before refrigerating. Then let it come to room temperature the day of and serve.
One thing about traditional bread pudding – it’s usually baked in a water bath to keep that custard nice and creamy. For this recipe, it will work either way. You can place your casserole dish in a large roasting pan then fill it with hot water and let it bake for a more tender bread pudding. Or you can allow it to bake without a water bath and it’ll have a more french toast casserole like consistency. Not that french toast casserole is bad or anything.
Its’ buttery, rich, super creamy and dotted with tons of toasted pecans. Top with a generous amount of powdered sugar and you’ve got yourself a winner.
KILLER MAKE AHEAD DESSERT COMIN’ ATCHA!
- 1 lb. loaf of stale french bread, cubed (challah, brioche or other sturdy bread will also work)
- 1 ½ cups pecans
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar, for serving
- Spray a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half the bread cubes in the baking dish, followed by ½ the pecans, then bread, and finally the remaining pecans. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs with the brown sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Then, add the vanilla extract, let mix 1 minute. Lower the speed to the 'mix' setting and add the corn syrup, heavy cream, milk, melted butter, and salt. Allow the mixture to combine. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Let stand, pressing down on the bread occasionally for at least 45 minutes and ideally in the refrigerator overnight (covered).
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat a water kettle with to water.
- Set the baking dish into a large shallow roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and add the hot water to the roasting pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
- Bake the bread pudding for 55-70 minutes OR until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool to room temperature. At this point you can refrigerate it till you're ready to serve.
- When serving, let the bread pudding come to room temperature, top with lots of powdered sugar!
- You can also bake this bread pudding without a water bath if you'd like but keep it mind it'll have a more french toast casserole like texture - still delicious, just a little different!
- 1 lb. loaf will give you roughly 12 cups of cubed bread.
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