2 hours, 30 minutes
10 to 12
From Xiomara Ardolina of Café Atlantic
1 ( 1/2-pound) loaf French bread, crust removed, sliced and torn into small pieces
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup raisins, divided
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread pieces in the half-and-half.
2. Heat a small skillet and add the sugar. Melt the sugar over low heat; swirl the pan gently from time to time, but do not stir. The sugar will turn a golden amber color in about 10 minutes. Pour it immediately into a warm 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the raisins on top of the melted sugar.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the condensed milk with the butter. Add the eggs, wine, the bread mixture, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, almond extract and salt and blend on low speed for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining raisins.
4. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and place it in a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the loaf pan.
5. Bake until set, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cover the pudding during the last 15 minutes if the top is browning too quickly. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when done.
6. Remove the pudding from the oven and immediately invert it onto a serving platter. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, cut into 1-inch slices.