Banana rum bread pudding

Banana-Rum Bread Pudding recipe

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Bread can be made several days in advance and kept refrigerated until needed.

Banana Bread:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 bananas)
1/3 cup butter
2 Tablespoons half and half
3 eggs
1 quart half & half
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dark or light rum
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter Rum Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2-1/4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons light or dark rum

Banana Bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pan. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, place the following ingredients in a large bowl: 1 cup of the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add mashed banana, butter, and half & half. Beat on low speed until well blended; scrape sides of bowl and then mix on high speed for 2 minutes and scrape bowl. Add eggs and remaining flour and beat on medium speed for 1 minute until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly on rack. Wrap and store overnight before using in pudding.

Pudding: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut banana bread into cubes, leaving the crust on, and put on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden brown and lightly crusted. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Butter 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pan. In medium saucepan, heat half & half, butter, salt, and vanilla over moderate heat just until hot, but not simmering. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, egg yolks, rum, and half & half mixture in a steady stream, whisking while pouring. (Placing bowl on a wet towel will help to keep it in place.) Add raisins and bread cubes and toss gently. Set mixture aside until almost all liquid is absorbed into bread cubes, about an hour.

Assembly: Reset oven to 350 degrees. Fill prepared loaf pan with mixture. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Dot pudding with butter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top. Place pudding in a baking pan with sides on middle rack of oven. Pour hot water halfway up sides of pudding pan. Bake until pudding is puffed and golden, about 40 minutes. Cool on rack until warm.

Butter Rum Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, 2 cups water, cinnamon, and butter and bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch blended with remaining 1/4 cup water and simmer, stirring until sauce is clear. Remove from heat and add rum. Sauce will be thin.

To Serve:Cut pudding into 3/4 inch slices (heat briefly in microwave if cool) and serve with warm rum sauce. May also be served with vanilla ice cream. Store unused pudding and sauce covered in refrigerator.

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