8 slices day-old bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) I prefer Brioche or Challah but French bread works too
1/2 cup raisins, or more if desired
Sprigs fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
Shaker confectioners' sugar, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with the butter.
Whisk the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and bourbon together in a large mixing bowl until very smooth. Add the half-and-half and mix well. Add the bread and raisins and let the mixture sit for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the pudding is set in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
To serve, cut the pudding into 1-inch thick slices. Lay each slice in the center of a serving plate. Spoon some of the Bourbon Sauce over the pudding and top with the spiced cream. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and confectioners’ sugar.
KENTUCKY BOURBON SAUCE
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons bourbon
Heat the cream, half-and-half, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan over high heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the bourbon. When bubbles form around the edges of the cream, whisk in the bourbon mixture. As the cream boils up, remove the pot from the heat and continue whisking vigorously until thoroughly blended and slightly thickened. Place over low heat and simmer for 1 minute. (This is not a thick cream sauce; it’s meant to be fairly thin.)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Beat the cream with an electric mixer on high speed in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat again until the mixture thickens and forms stiff peaks, another 1 to 2 minutes.
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