How To Make Leah Chase Bread Pudding: Two Amazing Ways

Leah Chase, affectionately known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, has greatly influenced the culinary world with her legendary recipes.

Among these, her bread pudding epitomizes her ability to transform simple ingredients into extraordinary desserts.

Bread pudding, with its roots in utilizing leftover bread, is elevated in Chase’s hands to a dish that is both comforting and sophisticated.

In this article, we will delve into two of her famous recipes: Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce and Dooky Chase’s Praline Pudding with Praline Liqueur Sauce.

Leah Chase Bread Pudding

Each recipe showcases the rich flavors and textures that Chase masterfully combined in her desserts, making them beloved by many.

Are you ready to dig in?

Bread Pudding: A Background

Bread pudding’s journey from a frugal solution for stale bread to a cherished dessert mirrors the evolution of culinary ingenuity.

Originating from Europe, this dish was a practical way for cooks in the 11th and 12th centuries to repurpose leftover bread, blending it with milk, eggs, and sugar to create a new, delicious offering.

This tradition of waste-not want-not found particular resonance in the United States, especially in the South, where it became a staple of home cooking and festive occasions alike.

In Louisiana, bread pudding took on new dimensions within Creole cuisine, incorporating local ingredients like sugarcane, pecans, and fruits, along with rich sauces that often featured bourbon or rum.

It became a dish that reflected the cultural mosaic of New Orleans, embodying the fusion of European, African, and Native American culinary traditions.

Leah Chase, through her innovative recipes, played a pivotal role in elevating bread pudding from a simple comfort food to a celebrated feature of Creole dining.

Her versions added layers of complexity with ingredients such as crushed pineapple, grated apple, and praline liqueur, showcasing her flair for blending traditional techniques with local flavors.

Chase’s approach to bread pudding was not just about creating a dessert; it was about telling a story of her heritage, her community, and her philosophy of bringing people together through food.

Her recipes serve as a delicious reminder of the power of cooking to transcend boundaries, celebrate history, and create shared experiences.

1. Creole Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce Recipe

Leah Chase’s Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce marries classic comfort with a touch of elegance, embodying the rich culinary heritage of New Orleans.

The recipe begins with a base of day-old French bread, cubed and soaked in a blend of evaporated milk, eggs, and water, ensuring the bread is fully saturated.

This mixture is then enriched with unique additions: crushed pineapple and grated Red Delicious apple, introducing a refreshing fruitiness that is uncommon in traditional bread pudding recipes.

The inclusion of sugar and raisins adds sweetness and texture, while a generous five tablespoons of vanilla extract infuse the dish with a deep, aromatic flavor.

Dots of softened butter are stirred into the mixture, adding richness and ensuring the pudding bakes up with a moist, tender crumb.

Once assembled, the pudding is baked until it achieves a golden crust and a set, custardy interior, transforming the simple ingredients into a sumptuous dessert.

The bourbon sauce, an essential component of this recipe, is a symphony of flavors.

It’s a velvety reduction that combines the warmth of bourbon with the sweetness of sugar, enhanced by vanilla, creating a sauce that perfectly complements the fruity, buttery notes of the bread pudding.

Serving this dish is a celebration in itself, with the warm pudding drizzled liberally with the bourbon sauce, offering a dessert experience that is both comforting and sophisticated.

This recipe exemplifies Leah Chase’s culinary philosophy: taking the familiar and making it extraordinary.

Through her Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce, Chase invites us to explore the depth of flavors that can be achieved with simple, well-chosen ingredients, making this dish a beloved part of her legacy.

2. Leah Chase Praline Pudding With Praline Liqueur Sauce

Leah Chase’s Praline Pudding with Praline Liqueur Sauce stands as a testament to the innovative spirit that came straight out of the Dooky Chase kitchen. It also represents Leah’s deep connection to New Orleans’ culinary traditions.

This dessert takes the classic concept of bread pudding and elevates it with the rich, nutty flavors of praline, a beloved Southern candy.

The recipe starts with stale white or po-boy bread, which is cubed and soaked in a mixture of evaporated milk, water, and eggs, creating a moist foundation for the pudding.

The addition of praline liqueur or rum infuses the dish with a distinctive, caramel-like sweetness that echoes the flavors of traditional pralines.

Sugar and vanilla extract add depth and sweetness, while toasted pecans and shredded coconut introduce a delightful crunch and texture, paying homage to the Southern love of these ingredients.

Melted butter ensures the pudding comes together with a luxurious, rich consistency, perfect for baking to a golden-brown finish.

The praline liqueur sauce is the crowning glory of this dessert, a creamy, sugary concoction that further amplifies the pudding’s flavors.

Made by simmering cane sugar with cornstarch, water, and butter, then finished with vanilla extract, praline liqueur, and more toasted pecans, this sauce drapes the warm pudding in a layer of sweet, nutty decadence.

The sauce not only complements the pudding but also enhances its complexity, making each bite a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

Serving Dooky Chase’s Praline Pudding with its accompanying sauce is a celebration of Creole dessert-making at its finest.

It showcases Leah Chase’s ability to draw on local flavors and ingredients to create desserts that are not merely food but an expression of culture and tradition.

This recipe invites diners to savor a piece of New Orleans, bringing the warmth and richness of the city’s culinary heritage to tables far and wide.

Serving Suggestions And Adaptations For Bread Pudding

Leah Chase’s bread pudding recipes are a canvas for creativity, not only in how they’re served but also in how they can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs.

Traditionally served warm, with their respective sauces drizzled over the top, these puddings are a comforting end to any meal.

For an added indulgence, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream can provide a delightful contrast in temperature and texture, enhancing the overall dessert experience.

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, these recipes offer a flexible foundation.

Gluten-free bread can replace the traditional loaves to accommodate gluten sensitivities, while dairy-free milks and egg substitutes can make the puddings vegan-friendly.

The fruit components, such as the pineapple and apple in the Creole Bread Pudding or the pecans and coconut in the Praline Pudding, can be swapped or omitted based on personal preferences or allergies, demonstrating the versatility of bread pudding as a dessert.

The sauces, integral to the character of each pudding, can also be modified.

For a non-alcoholic alternative, the bourbon or praline liqueur can be replaced with a mix of non-alcoholic vanilla extract and water or even non-alcoholic versions of bourbon or rum, allowing the rich flavors to shine through without the alcohol.

Additionally, sweeteners like maple syrup or honey can be used in place of cane sugar for a different flavor profile or to suit dietary preferences.

These adaptations not only ensure that Leah Chase’s bread puddings can be enjoyed by a wider audience but also underscore the inherent flexibility of this beloved dessert.

By making simple adjustments to ingredients or accompaniments, these bread puddings can continue to be a source of comfort and celebration, bridging traditions and modern culinary trends.

Final Thoughts

Leah Chase’s bread pudding recipes encapsulate the warmth, richness, and diversity of Creole cuisine, offering a dessert that is both comforting and celebratory.

Through her Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce and Dooky Chase’s Praline Pudding with Praline Liqueur Sauce, we are invited into a world of flavor that transcends the ordinary, making each bite a tribute to Chase’s culinary legacy.

As we explore these recipes, we not only celebrate the rich cultural tapestry of New Orleans but also the power of food to bring people together, tell stories, and create memories.

If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy Leah Chase’s butter cake. Take a look at her peach cobbler recipe and her amazing lemon chess pie, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my bread pudding mushy?

Excess liquid or underbaking can lead to mushy bread pudding. Ensure proper ingredient ratios and bake until the pudding is set.

Why did my bread pudding fall?

Rapid temperature changes can cause bread pudding to fall. Let it cool gradually in a warm environment to maintain its structure.

Why is bread pudding called pudding?

The term pudding historically referred to various dishes cooked by boiling or steaming, including desserts with a soft, custard-like texture like bread pudding.

Is bread pudding made from old bread?

Yes, bread pudding is traditionally made with stale bread, which better absorbs the liquid ingredients, contributing to the desired texture.

How To Make Leah Chase Bread Pudding: Two Amazing Ways

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


Prep time


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  • Choose your favorite bread pudding recipe
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare your pudding
  • Enjoy.
Barbara Hunt


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