Bread pudding was always a staple in our home, growing up on our family farm in Ireland. The colder Irish climate makes us crave warm comforting desserts to fill the heart and tummy in dark winter nights. My mother used to make a lighter version for our family when making a weeknight dessert, substituting milk for heavy cream, adding raisins and using a lighter white bread. My mother really didn’t serve us ‘whiskey sauce’ as kids, but she would have had a jug of light cream or whole milk and we would have poured that over our bread pudding. It was all wholesome, simple food that brings back so many memories of life in Ireland and my family.

Dessert is not something I enjoy on week nights with my family; but when I create a dessert it’s always a celebration of some kind, or at least a weekend treat. We are only getting close to those Burns night suppers, so I have created a more a decadent version worthy of a celebration meal. I am skipping the January calorie conscious count and made this pudding with sliced brioche bread, that makes the pudding more custardy and super rich. Orange Marmalade always pairs well with Irish Whiskey (or Scotch Whisky) and adds a citrus tang to an old Irish favorite dessert.. I hope you enjoy and make time to celebrate this January because life short -and sometimes we got to eat dessert first!

Here is the recipe that makes a large pan to serve 8 to 10 people…

  • 1 loaf (3/4 lbs of brioche or other white bread)
  • 4 Tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 24 large eggs (beaten)
  • 4 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ½ cup of orange marmalade
  • (Irish Whiskey Sauce)
  • 8 oz of butter
  • ¾ cup of fine granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup Irish Whiskey (or Scotch Whisky)

How to make it

  1. Grease a 13×9 pan with 1 Tbsp of the room temperature butter. Cut the sliced loafs in triangles and arrange in a single layer in pan.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk and cream and pour half the custard over the bread.  Repeat with one layer of sliced bread triangles and pour over the remaining custard mixture pressing down with your hands to absorb the liquid.  Cover and set aside to soak for at 1 ½ to 2 hours before baking (or leave overnight in the fridge).
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  4. Dot the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter over the top of the soaked bread pudding.
  5. Bake the pudding for one hour until the pudding has risen and the custard has set. Heat the orange marmalade and brush over the top of the pudding using a pastry brush.
  6. For a caramelized top switch, the broiler to high and allow the pudding to brown a little on the top for 2 minutes.
  7. To make the custard sauce heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan until simmering and remove from the heat.
  8. To make the whiskey sauce melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar until it has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly and whisk the egg.  Slowly add the melted butter and sugar into the egg yolk to gently temper until it is fully incorporated.    Transfer the liquid back to the small saucepan and cook on medium low stirring all the time until the sauce comes to a low simmer.  Strain into a jug and then add the whiskey.
  9. To serve the pudding cut and slice while still warm and pour over a whiskey sauce.

Enjoy the Journey!

Shamrock and Peach