Brigtsen's Banana Bread Pudding

Brigtsen’s Banana Bread Pudding

Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant in Uptown New Orleans is a fantastic cross between the classic bread pudding and Bananas Foster, the great flaming bananas and ice cream dessert.

6 cups bite-sized pieces of day-old French bread
3 cups milk
3 large eggs
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large very ripe bananas
3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup roasted pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Put the French bread pieces into a 9x12x2 inch
baking pan.

In a blender or food processor, blend the eggs, milk, 2/3 cup of sugar,
bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla until smooth. Pour this mixture over the French bread pieces. Fold in the raisins and the
pecans and let the mixture set for 20 minutes. Top with small pieces of the

Cover the pudding with aluminum foil and place the pan into a larger pan.
Add warm water to a depth of 1 inch in the larger pan. Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until set.

In a deep, medium bowl, whisk the cream just until it begins to thicken. Add
the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Continue
whisking unti soft peaks form. Cover and chill.

Banana Rum Sauce
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 large ripe bananas, quartered
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons banana liqueur
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat a large saute pan or skillet over low heat. Add the butter, sugar,
bananas, cinnamon and nutmeg. Moving the skillet back and forth, cook until
the butter and sugar become creamy and the bananas begin to soften, about
one minute. Remove the skillet from heat and add the rum and the liqueur.
Return the pan to the heat. Tilt the pan, avert your face and and light the
liquid with a long match. Shake the skillet until the flames subside. Add
the vanilla, remove from heat and keep warm.

To serve, place a large scoop of bread pudding in the middle of each serving
plate or bowl. Place 2 slices of banana on each plate and top with about 3
tablespoons of sauce. Spoon the whipped cream over the bread pudding and
serve immediately.

Serves 12

Source Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brightsen’s Restaurant in Uptown New Orleans