- 4 beaten eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups dry bread cubes*
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, or raisins
- 1½ cups water
- Bourbon Sauce (recipe follows) or whipped cream (optional)
- ⅓ cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Grease a 1½-quart soufflé dish. Tear off two 20-inch-by-x2-inch pieces of heavy foil. Crisscross the strips and place dish in the center.
- In a bowl beat together the eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla using a wire whisk. Place bread cubes and dried cranberries in prepared dish. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture and cover with foil.
- Place rack and 1½ cups water in a 4- or 6-quart pressure cooker. Bringing up the foil strips, lift the ends of the strips and transfer dish into the cooker. Fold ends of foil strips over the top of the dish.
- Lock lid in place. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe. Over high heat, bring cooker up to pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain pressure and pressure regulator rocks gently; cook for 25 minutes.
- Allow pressure to come down naturally. Carefully remove lid.
- Using foil strips, lift bread pudding out of the cooker. Remove foil. Place on a wire rack and cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or cover and chill up to 24 hours. If desired, serve with Bourbon Sauce or whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts. Makes 6 servings.
Bourbon Sauce: In a saucepan melt ¼ cup margarine or butter. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup sugar. Stir together 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Add to sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture just begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons bourbon. Serve warm. Makes about ¾ cup.
*Note: To dry bread cubes, start with about 3½ cups ( 4 ½ slices). Spread in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 300°F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until dry, stirring twice. Or, let stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Measure 3 cups.