Cure for a Pandemic...Keeneland Bread Pudding
The coronavirus pandemic has pretty much canceled 2020. We are looking at no return to in-person school for the remainder of this school year, no proms, no graduations…the list goes on and on. For me, personally, the most painful cancellation was of the Keeneland spring race meet. Keeneland is my most favorite place and one I eagerly return to every spring and fall. It’s a magical setting full of flowers, beautifully dressed people, majestic and powerful horses with colorful jockeys aloft, and the energy and beauty is unparalleled…and I didn’t even mention the food! Keeneland Hospitality goes above and beyond serving up Kentucky favorites like burgoo, but by far my most favorite item on the menu is the bourbon bread pudding!
Confession Time: Prior to trying the bread pudding at Keeneland, I didn’t care for the dessert. It’s true. I mean, it is made with stale bread of all things, and many times is peppered with raisins (also not a fan). But after trying Keeneland’s bourbon bread pudding, I was instantly hooked. Is it the fact it has bourbon in the sauce? Is it the golden raisins? The Sister Schubert rolls? I don’t know! I do know it is now something I eagerly anticipate having and equate with a fun day at the track with my besties. Fortunately for us, Leigh and I had the chance to meet Marc Therrien, Executive Chef and Managing Director of Keeneland Hospitality, when we were asked to be chili cookoff judges with him this past winter in Morehead, Kentucky, and he agreed to not only be a guest on our podcast, “Brunch with the Buds”, but also to share the recipe for this decadent dish. So if I can’t have the experience of standing along the rail, ticket in one hand, and a glass of champagne in the other, I can at least have my other Keeneland favorite, bourbon bread pudding. And just because Chef Marc was kind enough to share it with us, I’m passing it along to my fellow Kentuckians. Remember, we will get through this difficult time, and perhaps it will make our return to Keeneland in the fall (fingers crossed) even sweeter.
Keeneland Bread Pudding
8 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
8 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 cups Sister Shubert rolls, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Makers Mark bourbon Sauce
½ cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar’
¼ cup Makers Mark bourbon
Method for bread pudding:
In large bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in diced bread and soak for several hours.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees, Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 –inch baking pan.
Pour bread mixture in to prepared baking pan, garnish top with raisins and cinnamon, make sure to press in the raisins.
Bake until firm in center about 1.5 hours
Makers Mark bourbon sauce:
Allow butter to soften to room temperature. Place in mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar, whip until well blended, slowly trickle the bourbon in.
Spread the thick sauce over the warm bread pudding. Enjoy!
To learn more about Chef Marc, listen to last week's podcast, Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Quarantine!
PS. This image was taken before the pandemic.