1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup currants
1 -1/2 pound loaf of Brioche, torn into 1-2 inch chunks, or cut into cubes – allowed to stale overnight
1 1/2 cups whole milk or substitute
1/2 cup heavy cream or substitute
4 large eggs or substitute
1 cup pure organic cane sugar, or coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon good quality pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce, see recipe below
Heat bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. Pour the warmed bourbon over currants in a small bowl. Allow currants to reconstitute and plump. Minimum 1 hour, or overnight.
Cut brioche into large 1-2 inch chunks and let sit out overnight uncovered to stale– or if you didn’t have time –slightly toast in a warm 375’F oven on a cookie sheet until dry.
Begin by Preheat oven to 350’F degrees. With the butter, generously prepare an 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass casserole dish by rubbing it into the pan using your hands — set aside.
Add stale brioche pieces to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In an additional medium sized bowl, combine cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and allspice. With a wire whisk– beat well to combine.
Pour into bread mixture. Add reconstituted currents and any remaining soaking liquid. Add the nuts. Combine well and mix into the bread well without compromising the shape of the cubes.
Place the bread and egg mixture into the buttered baking dish and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator for best results –or a minimum of an hour on the counter.
Bring to room temperature and bake until bread is browned around edges and custard is cooked, about 35 -40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream and warm bourbon butterscotch sauce.
Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic corn syrup
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped of seeds
2 Tablespoons good quality bourbon
pinch of salt
In a very small saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla bean and the pod. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool. Set aside.
In a large, high sided, heavy bottomed saucepan, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt together and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Let the mixture simmer for about 5-8 minutes, or until it’s reached a maple syrup type consistency. Remove from heat, whisk in the heavy cream into the sugar mixture discarding vanilla bean pod.
Add bourbon and stir until smooth. ( the mixture will bubble up after adding the cream take special precaution not to let it bubble over)
Note: The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Allow to cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
Reheat before serving.