This recipe was adapted from Sara Labensky's On Cooking
For one steam pan - serves about 40
4 loaves grocery store bakery french bread
Raisins - 8 oz
Brandy - optional
Butter - 4 oz. (1 stick), melted
Heavy cream - 1 qt
Milk - 2 qts
Eggs - 12
Sugar - 7 cups
Cube bread to about 1 1/4" cubes - no need to remove crust - and let sit out at least a day to get stale. Toss to make sure all cubes dry out some. Put in buttered steam pan.
In a saucepan, barely cover raisins with brandy or water and simmer until plumped. Drain if using water but not if brandy.
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and smooth. Add the melted butter, raisins, brandy, and cream and mix gently.
Pour milk over bread crumbs while gently tossing, so that each cube gets just moist but not soggy. Once milk starts to pool in the pan, toss a little more then add any left over milk to the egg and sugar mixture and stir. Gently fold the egg and sugar mixture into the bread cubes. There will be some breakage but be as gentle as you can. Bread cubes should be completely covered in mixture.
Bake at 350 until just set and brown on top. (Undercook a little if you are going to reheat.) Spoon bourbon sauce or a simple sugar drizzle over before serving.
This has to be refrigerated if not eaten immediately - it is more like a custard than a cake and cannot safely sit out.
Butter - 2 sticks
Sugar - 2 1/4 cups
Eggs - 2
Bourbon to taste - 1/2 to 1 cup or whatever!
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in sugar then eggs, beating well while mixing. Stir over low heat until a little thickened, then stir in bourbon to taste.
Pour over lightly - if you like more sauce, double the recipe and pour more over just before serving.