New Orleans bread pudding with bourbon sauce



* 28 cm piece of French bread, cut into 2.5cm slices
* 60g raisins
* 150ml milk
* 150ml single cream
* 60g unsalted butter, diced
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 110g caster sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/2 large cooking apple, cored, peeled and diced
* 1/2 400g tin apricots, roughly chopped

For the bourbon sauce:

* 175g caster sugar
* 1 tbsp cornflour
* 225 ml water
* 2 tbsp lemon juice
* 30g butter, diced
* 4 tbsp bourbon whiskey

1. Quarter the slices of bread, without removing crust. Tip into a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the raisins.

2. Put the milk, cream and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the bread, then leave to stand for30 minutes, turning the bread once.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

4. Whisk the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the bread mixture.

5. Add the apple and peaches. Mix well, turning the bread carefully so that it doesn?t disintegrate totally. Smooth down the surface lightly.

6. Place the dish in a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the sides. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mix the sugar and cornflour in a small saucepan. Gradually stir in the water and lemon juice.

8. Add the butter and bring to the boil stirring occasionally. Simmer until it thickens.

9. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Keep warm until the pudding is cooked.

10. When the pudding is just set, remove it from the oven and serve hot or warm with the bourbon sauce

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