Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
(This is the real deal!) The head chef at the island restaurant wrote it down on a napkin for me - had to translate to U.S. measurements. (They don't measure ANYTHING down in the islands, mon.) They even call it "vanilla essence" instead of "extract."
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Soak the bread in milk in a large mixing bowl. Press with hands until well mixed and all the milk is absorbed. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and sea salt together. Gently stir into the bread mixture. Gently stir the rum-soaked raisins into the mixture.
Pour 3 tbsp melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour in the bread mix and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.
Hot Buttered Rum Sauce:
In a saucepan, melt butter; add sugar, milk, and egg yolk, whisking to blend well. (Add a little hot butter sauce to egg yolk before adding to saucepan so egg will not “cook.")
Stir constantly over low heat until mixture thickens. (Do not allow to simmer, or it may curdle.) Whisk in spiced rum to taste. Remove from heat. Whisk before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.
*Serve warm atop bread pudding and/or a scoop of luscious french vanilla ice cream, if so desired.
(Best fresh and eaten the day it is made.)
**This will pair perfectly w/ my Caribbean Jerk Chicken recipe.