Miss Pat's Bread Pudding

Course : Cajun
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1 pound loaf stale French bread -- (not sourdough) with crusts
1 quart milk
3 large eggs -- beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup flaked coconut
6 tablespoons butter
1 recipe rum sauce

Preparation / Directions:

Break bread into small pieces over large bowl. Pour in milk and let soak 15 minutes, stirring often to break up pieces. Blend in eggs, sugar and vanilla. Fold in raisins and coconut. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter in 9x13-inch metal baking pan over low heat, swirling to coat bottom and sides. Blend excess into bread, then pour mixture into pan. Bake until very firm, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Cut into 12 to 15 squares. Place each square in ovenproof dessert dish. Just before serving, preheat broiler. Pour Rum Sauce over squares. Broil pudding until hot and bubbly. RUM SAUCE Makes about 2 cups 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs, beaten to blend 1/2 cup dark rum Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Transfer to top of double boiler set over gently simmering water and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is very hot, about 30 minutes. Whisk 4 Tbs of hot butter mixture into beaten eggs 2 Tbs at a time. Stir mixture back into top of double boiler and whisk until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes; do not let water boil. Remove sauce from heat. Cool, whisking occasionally. Blend in rum.

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