Creole Style Bread Pudding

 
Creole Monday  
When the affair calls for a fancier dessert than plain ol’ bread pudding, try this delicious one.  
Creole Style Bread Pudding  
6 servings

 Day old baguettes 
1 cup canned crushed pineapple 
1 cup pecans 
3 large eggs 
1 cup sugar, divided 
2 cups milk, divided 
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1/3 cup bourbon  

    Butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish, set aside. Remove crust from bread and cut enough bread into half-inch cubes to make 6 cups. Place bread on a large baking pan uncovered and dry bread in a 250° oven 1 hour. 
    Drain pineapple well. 
    Chop pecans and heat in a skillet until golden. 
    In a bowl, toss together the bread, pineapple, and half of pecans and spoon into the prepared baking dish.
    Whisk together the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1-cup milk, 1 1/2 cups cream and vanilla in bowl and pour slowly and evenly over bread mixture. Stir to coat and chill covered for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. 
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle remaining pecans over the pudding. Cut butter into bits and dot on top of the pudding. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Remove pudding from oven and drop tablespoon mounds of coconut on top. Bake pudding until coconut is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. 
    Make the sauce in a small bowl by stirring together the cornstarch and bourbon. In a small heavy saucepan, bring 1-cup cream, 1-cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch salt to a boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Whisk cornstarch mixture into the cream mixture and boil sauce gently, whisking until thickened. Keep sauce warm and covered. 
    Serve pudding warm from the oven or at room temperature with sauce.

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