In Ireland bread pudding is a common Christmas treat for Breakfast - and why not? Stale bread is soaked in a custard of eggs and cream seasoned with once-precious spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and even cane sugar and then baked. Easy to make it can be prepped in advance then slid into the oven on Christmas morn.
I hearken back to those days by using whole wheat bread, turbinado sugar, and Irish whiskey. And then add apples and raisins and cardamom and mace (instead of the more common cinnamon and nutmeg). If your prefer, you can substitute rum, brandy, or sherry for the Irish whiskey.
Serve with Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, and (for the adults) Irish coffee. - Kevin
Kevin’s Irish Bread Pudding has a base of hearty, whole wheat bread studded with raisins and soaked in a mixture of apple cider, punchy spices and of course, Irish whiskey. There’s only ¼ cup of booze but it goes a long way—especially since there’s more in the whipped cream—so this pudding could also be a great end to a holiday meal. It’s great for entertaining because it can sit overnight and be baked when guests want something sweet! - Natalie —The Editors
Toast bread on both sides until well browned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Bite one, it should be quite crisp, if not, cook cubes another 5 minutes. You should have about 6 cups.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped apple and cook, stirring frequently, for five to seven minutes.
Lightly whip eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix in half & half, cider, milk, whiskey, vanilla, orange zest, and spices. Add bread, apples, and raisins stir, and let sit for 1 hour. Scoop into an 8 x 12 casserole. At this point it can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover casserole with foil and position in a larger pan in the middle of the oven. Add enough boiling water to the larger pan to come half way up the sides of the casserole. Cook for 40 minutes and remove cover. (Check to make sure the water doesn't boil away. If needed add more boiling water.) Cook about 30 minutes longer until top is browned.
While pudding is cooking, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then beat whipping cream to soft peaks. Beat in sugar. Beat in liquor. Serve as topping with pudding.