This rich, almond-flavored bread pudding is super easy to prepare and a sure-fire crowd pleaser for family and guests alike.
1 loaf (1 1/2 lb.) crusty Italian-style bread
5 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur or 1 tablespoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup golden raisins
Amaretto Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
How to Make It
Cut bread crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices; trim off and discard crusts (or save for other uses) and cut slices into 1-inch cubes.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, half-and-half, sugar, amaretto, and vanilla until well combined. Gently stir in raisins and bread cubes just until evenly moistened; pour mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Bake pudding in a 350° regular or convection oven until center is set (cut to test), about 1 hour. Scoop out portions or cut and lift out with a wide spatula. Serve warm with Amaretto Caramel Sauce.
Amaretto Caramel Sauce. In a 1- to 2-quart pan over low heat, stir 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and boil, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored, about 8 minutes; remove pan from heat. Meanwhile, in a 1- to 2-quart pan over medium-high heat, bring 1/3 cup whipping cream to a boil. Off the heat, carefully add hot cream and 1/4 cup amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur or 1 tablespoon almond extract to the caramelized sugar; stir until blended (the mixture will bubble up). Serve warm. Makes about 1 cup.