Bread and butter pudding:
1 tablespoon currants
1 tablespoon yellow raisins
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
6 slices brioche bread, each about
1/2" thick (4" x 5" slices)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Demerara or Turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Make sauce: Fill large bowl with ice water and set aside.
2. In small saucepan, combine milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Using back of knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to boil, then remove from heat.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together yolks and remaining sugar until blended. Gradually pour half of hot cream mixture over egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon. It is done when you can run your finger down back of coated spoon and path remains in custard. Be careful not to boil custard or it will curdle.
4. Strain mixture into heatproof bowl and place bowl in ice bath; cool completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in whiskey. Press piece of plastic wrap onto surface of custard and refrigerate until cold.
5. Make pudding: Put currants, raisins, candied orange rind and Irish whiskey in small bowl and set aside for 1 hour to allow fruit to absorb whiskey.
6. Lightly butter 41/2- to 5-cup ceramic, ovenproof, shallow baking dish. Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Cut slices into quarters.
7. Arrange 1/2 of bread quarters, buttered side up, in even layer in baking dish. Drain dried fruit, discarding whiskey, and sprinkle over bread layer. Top with remaining bread, buttered side up, in even layer.
8. Whisk eggs, yolk and sugar in medium bowl until blended. Whisk in milk, cream and vanilla. Pour custard over bread and set aside for 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up custard.
8. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
9. Combine Demerara or Turbinado sugar with cinnamon in small bowl and sprinkle over top of pudding.
10. Place pudding in small roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until custard is set and top is puffed and browned.
11. Serve pudding warm with Irish whiskey sauce.
Cashel House Hotel, Cashel, County Galway, Ireland; phone (011) 353-95-31001, website www.cashel-house-hotel.com.
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