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The Bon Ton is a famous restaurant in New Orleans. Rick and I ate there once when I went with him on business. I have changed the sauce and recipe a bit to leave out the alcohol.

Rum Sauce:
1/2 cup apple juice
3/4 cup heavy cream
Rum flavoring to taste
6 oz dark brown sugar
7 oz granulated sugar
1/2 lb unsalted butter, cold, chopped

In a thick plastic container, place the cold chopped butter.

Combine the sugars, apple juice, cream, and rum flavoring in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. When the mixture comes to a boil, pour 1/2 of it over the butter and whisk constantly until the butter is melted, add the rest of the hot mixture.

Place the bowl into an ice bath to cool, stirring the sauce a few times during the cooling process. Keep chilled.

When you’re ready to use, just warm it a little to take the chill off.

Bread Pudding:

1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)
1 qt milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup raisins (I think dried cranberries would be really good in this, too)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 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 spices together. Gently stir into the bread mixture. Gently stir the raisins into the mixture.

3 Pour butter into the bottom of a 9×13 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.

Serve with rum sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made. Makes 8-10 servings.