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Respectful Cooking (recipe: Biscuit Pudding with Bourbon Sauce)

September 9, 2011
by Jackie Garvin
biscuit pudding 003

Biscuit Pudding is a vintage recipe created to use leftover biscuits.   Simply pour a vanilla custard over crumbled biscuits and bake.   My first encounter with Biscuit Pudding was in my Granny’s kitchen.  She used a no-nonsense method of mixing, baking and serving in the same baking dish.   Bread Pudding is popular on the menu of upscale restaurants.   Folks pay a lot of money for a dish whose humble origin was born out of  a way to use leftovers with simple, basic ingredients.

My grandmother’s cooking style was as straight-forward as she.  Granny rarely measured  her ingredients and she used as few dishes and cooking utensils as possible.   Her kitchen efficiency wasn’t necessarily by choice.  It was a necessity because she only had a few kitchen items.  One dish cooking is a common theme among many vintage recipes.  I’m committed to returning to a more efficient way of cooking.  Why mess up a dish if you don’t have to?

For Biscuit Pudding, she crumbled biscuits in the pan and let them soak up some milk.  Then, she sprinkled on the sugar and started adding the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition.  Some cinnamon and vanilla extract was  mixed with more milk and poured over the biscuit mixture.  Lastly , the top was dotted with butter and baked until the custard was set.  The closest I came to getting a recipe from her was that you need two eggs for every cup of milk that you use.   Of course, the amount of milk that you need is “owing to how many biscuits ya got, Shug.”  She  didn’t make a sauce for the Biscuit Pudding either.  If she had been inclined to do so, it certainly wouldn’t have been bourbon sauce like I’ve chosen to make.  My grandparents were devout Southern Baptist and teetotalers despite the fact that Granny took cough medicine with an alcohol content that may have been higher than table wine.  That mess would burn the fool out of your throat.

Raisins are popular in bread puddings.  Granny didn’t usually have raisins on hand.  To keep the recipe authentic , they’re not added to this dish.  Cocoa powder could be mixed with the custard mix for Chocolate Biscuit Pudding or chocolate chips could be added.

Out of respect for my grandparents, I would never cook with alcohol if they were around.  I would also forego my occasional glass of wine.   Even the tiny bit of Bourbon in this sauce would not be seen as acceptable in their eyes.   Abstinence from alcohol was one of their strong beliefs as it is with a lot of people.    However, with  the  diversity of Southern culture, you’ll find moonshiners, teetotalers and everything in between.    We’re not a boring group of people by the stretch of anybody’s imagination.

While the Biscuit Pudding is a recipe out of my Granny’s kitchen, it seemed somewhat disrespectful  to make a sauce to go with her dish that she would have frowned upon.   Never mind that both of my grandparents have been gone for a long time.  Never mind that I’m an adult well into my fifties.   Be respectful is just part of my raising.  Now that the deed’s been done, I think the Bourbon Sauce is a good idea after all.   I feel a slight cold *cough, cough* coming on.

Y’all come see us.

******

Biscuit Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

For biscuit pudding:

4 or 5 leftover biscuits

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter, diced

Crumble biscuits in  greased baking dish.  I used a 9 X 9 glass dish.

 

Pour 1 cup of milk over the biscuits.

After the biscuits have soaked up enough milk to become soft, add the sugar.  Next, add eggs one at a time mixing after each one.

Mix remaining milk with vanilla extract and cinnamon.  Pour into dish and dot with butter.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is firm.  The custard will still jiggle but not slosh.  Remove from oven.  It’s normal for the pudding to deflate.

Serve warm with warm Bourbon Sauce.

For bourbon sauce:

Adapted from about.com Southern food   

I substituted brown sugar for white because wanted a rich, butterscotch-y flavor.  I omitted the corn syrup, also.  This sauce would be great served warm over vanilla ice cream.  If you want to omit the bourbon, you’ll still have a great tasting sauce.  Bourbon adds smoothness and richness.

1 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon Bourbon (I used Jim Beam)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan  and bring to a boil stirring frequently.  Boil for one minute and remove from heat.   Serve warm.

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44 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2011 1:27 pm

    Mama made bread pudding that way, too. I never cared for it because its too dense. Give me a lighter bread pudding with nuts and a good sauce, though, and I’m in heaven. Glacier Brew Pub in Anchorage makes one to die for!!!

    • September 9, 2011 1:58 pm

      Sue,

      If you don’t try this pudding, you MUST try the sauce. It’s heavenly. :)

  2. Ann permalink
    September 9, 2011 1:39 pm

    Jackie – this looks like something I will definitely try!! I’ve never had it with biscuits before but your granny sure sounds like mine!! Waste not, want not – use everything up. Also the part about the teetotalers is true of mine also – and while I do partake occasionally, I, like you, would never do it in front of my grandparents out of respect for them – that is so sweet – and I can tell you were “raised right” – LOL Hope your “cold” gets better soon.

  3. Mary Raymundo permalink
    September 9, 2011 1:42 pm

    I would have never thought to use leftover biscuits as bread pudding. What a treat. Now, my grandmother is a different story. She would throw the biscuits out to the birds and drink the bourbon. And you never mix bourbon with anything but water. LOL

    • September 9, 2011 1:56 pm

      Mary,

      I just about fell out of my chair laughing about “throw the biscuits out to the birds and drink the bourbon”. I didn’t just laugh out loud. I hooted and hollered. How funny!! Thanks for the laugh, Miss Mary. :)

  4. Jean permalink
    September 9, 2011 2:02 pm

    Could you shove me a little..no big dish of that thru this computer? My grandmother Evans made biscuit pudding. That was it. She would mash the biscuits up with the milk after they were softened so there were no lumps. I have her bowl she baked the pudding in….and occasionally it gets used for that very thing!

    • September 9, 2011 2:14 pm

      Jean,

      Mine doesn’t have lumps either. In fact, you really can’t tell that the whole thing started with biscuits. How special it is that you have your grandmother’s dish! I wish I could see a picture of it. :)

      • Jean permalink
        September 10, 2011 9:22 am

        Jackie…its a cream colored bowl with a little green vine decoration on the side. I have seen another one in an antique store and this one had a top on it with more of the little green vines on it and its ovenproof. I guess Granny broke hers and I never knew it didn’t have a top until the antique store. Its crazed and stained but it remains in my kitchen cabinet and I think of Granny every time I see it. Are you that way….when something belonged to your parents or grandparents…is it still their stuff? I always say that. Habit I guess.

        • September 10, 2011 9:29 am

          Jean,

          I still consider things to be “Granny’s bowl” or “Granddaddy’s table” or “Mama’s desk” no matter how long I’ve had them. Part of that is to teach my children and grandchildren the history. Absolutely! I know exactly what you mean. I think I know which dish you’re talking about. I don’t have one but I’m think I’ve seen similar ones in antique stores. I love vintage dishes. Shoot, who am I kidding?? I love vintage EVERYTHING!

  5. September 9, 2011 2:46 pm

    What a wonderful recipe. I think my cold will get better as soon as I make this. My grandmother cooked the same. Thanks!

  6. September 9, 2011 3:21 pm

    My grandparents lived in a “dry” county in Texas. As a kid I remember that we always had to stop before entering Grayson County to pick up a bottle of Mogan David wine for Grandma, that she drank “for medicinal purposes only.”

    • September 9, 2011 3:23 pm

      Joyce,

      How funny! The county that my grandparents lived in stayed dry until just this year. Thanks for sharing your memory! :)

  7. September 9, 2011 3:31 pm

    Looks divine, Jackie. I may have to make some biscuits just so I’ll have some leftover!

    • September 9, 2011 4:03 pm

      Valerie,

      I hope you give it a try. The Bourbon sauce is sooooooo good with it. :)

  8. Julia permalink
    September 10, 2011 2:17 am

    This recipe brings back so many pleasant memories. My Mother was
    also from Alabama, was Southern Baptist and a tee-tottler, and she
    made her Bread Pudding with leftover biscuits the same way you
    outline here. I could tell almost to the day when Mother was going
    to make her wonderful Bread Pudding too, just by the number of
    leftover biscuiits were in the bag in the refrigerator.

    Unless it was in the planning stages of a big family dinner with all
    the aunts, uncles and cousins joining us at which time Mother would
    be butchering one of her fat lazy hens who’d quit laying eggs and
    then we’d be eating baked chicken with cornbread and biscuit dressing.
    There just isn’t any stuffing or dressing in the world that’s as good
    as when made using the leftover cornbread and biscuits.

    Sometimes, Mother used brown sugar in her Bread Pudding, and if she
    didn’t have it, then she’d use a big glop of Alabama-Georgia Cane
    Syrup which back when I was a kid came in a gallon can with a lid
    that came off just like paint cans do today.

    Because I adored raisins, she almost always had them because they
    were my “candy” and rarely did I see any other candy except at
    Christmas when Daddy would buy some beautiful ribbon hard candy and
    maybe some peppermint buttons which are the same as Starlight Mints
    of today. We just didn’t have fancy names for everything back in
    the late 30′s.

    Names of things might change, but good food, prepared and shared
    with love still can’t be beat. I’d just love to meet you one day.
    I have an idea neither of us would get much done outside the kitchen.
    Thank you for another wonderful read Jackie.
    Julia

    • September 10, 2011 9:35 am

      Julia,

      I would love to meet you, too! We would have a grand time, no doubt! Here’s a recipe the I shared on FB but it didn’t go out to email subscribers. I bet you’ve had something similar to this. http://wp.me/P1lazE-OJ

      Granny just didn’t keep raisins around. I don’t even remember her putting raisins in rice pudding. She may have but I don’t remember. As I mixed up the Biscuit Pudding , I thought about how good cane syrup would be in it. This recipe I wanted to make an authentic version of her Biscuit Pudding. I’m going to make it with cane syrup sooner or later.

      Thanks for being such an inspiration and blessing, Julia! God bless you. :)

  9. Belinda Y. Hughes permalink
    September 10, 2011 12:49 pm

    I’m a Southern Baptist-raised GRIT, too, y’all. I don’t remember bread puddings, but I do love this one. For some reason, we always got my great grandmother’s “tonic” at the liquor store before we left home to go visit her. And oh, how I miss those paint cans of super-thick ribbon cane syrup. We generally got ours at country gas stations, which sold them for the farmers. I never put anything else on my aunts’ and grandmother’s homemade biscuits and bacon. The stuff they sell in stores these days just ain’t the same a’tall. It’s downright painful remembering that and not having any right this minute!

    • September 10, 2011 3:01 pm

      Belinda,

      Such good, good memories. That’s what Syrup and Biscuits is all about. We hope you visit us often. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  10. September 11, 2011 12:58 pm

    Yum! Pretty much nothing goes to waste around this house but it’s more a matter of economics and good sense to me. We are on a very limited income so we make do and use it up! That looks wonderful Jackie!

    • September 11, 2011 2:40 pm

      Thanks, Mary! It’s one of those recipes that I don’t cook often but has such special meaning to me. I remember standing along slide my beloved Granny while she was making this.

  11. Brenda permalink
    September 13, 2011 7:43 am

    Jackie, I had three biscuits in my frig and your recipe called my name. I made it last night (with quantity alterations) and it was wonderful! Keep up the good work of great recipes on your blog!
    Brenda Turner

    • September 13, 2011 8:08 am

      Brenda,
      I’m so happy it turned out for you. You really can’t mess this recipe up. The ratio of custard to biscuits will affect the cooking time but not the taste. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe. I’m glad you found Syrup and Biscuits! We love having you here. :)

  12. Jackie King permalink
    January 19, 2013 9:13 am

    I love that line “that mess would burn the fool outta your throat!” My Dad, who was also a teetotaler, and a Baptist, used to heavily hit the cough syrup every evening in his later years. For medicinal purposes only, of course ;-) I had forgotten that saying that something could “burn the fool” out of you! Priceless memories! Love the fact you share your sweet heritage with your readers! You always bring back a chuckle or a tear to my eye with the memories you share!

    • January 19, 2013 10:35 am

      Jackie,

      Thank you so much for reading my stories. It means so much to me that you took the time to leave me a comment.

      Sharing my stories is what I’m meant to do at this stage in my life. I’m blessed every time someone reads them. :)

  13. Virginia permalink
    October 14, 2013 6:56 pm

    My mom made biscuit pudding much the same way only it was a smoother batter when it was put into an tube pan and cooked. Loved it; husband doesn’t, so I don’t bake it. This brings back good memories. And no bourbon sauce for this Baptist either.

    • October 14, 2013 8:30 pm

      Virginia,

      I’ve found that biscuit pudding freezes well. You could make up individual portions and have just enough for you when you want it. Granny never made it in a tube pan because she only made small quantities at a time.

  14. October 14, 2013 8:59 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your Granny, Jackie. I’ve never heard of using biscuits in bread pudding, but why not…sounds even better than the normal breads used! Cheers to the bourbon sauce!

  15. October 15, 2013 7:04 am

    This looks outstanding!
    This reminds me of one of my grandfather’s specialty’s. He couldn’t boil water, but he could make an outrageous ‘Plum Pudding’ with a brandy hard sauce. It was off the charts!

    • October 15, 2013 8:31 am

      Chris,

      I sure you’re grandfather felt that once he perfected his plum pudding, his cooking quests were over! :)

  16. Cynthia Bailey permalink
    October 15, 2013 9:46 am

    I make bread pudding a couple times a week. I always use buttermilk in mine. I also make buttermilk buiscuts. What a great idea. Next time I am using buiscuts for sure. Thanks for the tip

  17. phyllis g permalink
    October 15, 2013 9:53 am

    oh wow i would love some biscuit pudding i love your website

  18. March 31, 2014 9:01 am

    lol I love this site! now the bourbon sauce sounds very good! but ladies, the ahem sauce will not have any alcohol, cause cooking it will kill the alcohol! I’m gonna make a pan of biscuits just so I’ll have some for the recipe! Thanks for another great recipe and memory, Jackie! Hugs!

  19. Sharon Albert Gibson permalink
    March 31, 2014 7:36 pm

    Well, guess I’m gonna have to make biscuits just so I can make this recipe. I’ve never had biscuit pudding, so I guess I’ve missed part of my education. I have to tell ya Jackie, I’ve giggled the whole way thru this post. I just downright laughed out loud when you made the comment about “burning the fool outta your throat”. I haven’t heard that in awhile, but I heard it all the time as a kid. I love reading your blogs. You are definitely one of the bright spots in my day!! Glad you’re here!!

    • March 31, 2014 7:59 pm

      Sharon,

      If there’s one person I’m happy to make smile and laugh, it’s you! I can’t tell the times I’ve regretted not carrying around a notebook and writing down some of Grandparent’s sayings. I know I’ve forgotten a lot of them. Sometimes I will read something that sparks my memory about some of their funny way with words. I do make a note of that and try to work it onto a blog post. To this day, I could listen all day to anyone who talks like they did. I just love it. I recently came across a YouTube video describing (and translating) Appalachian speech. Even down in southeastern Alabama, we were heavily influenced by Appalachia. Sadly, so much of that dialect is disappearing from our vernacular. For that, I’m truly sad.

      I’m always glad for you to stop by for a chat, Sharon. :)

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