Bread Pudding with Glazed Top

Just about everyone has a favorite style of bread pudding. This French/Cajun-inspired presentation has a major hit at our Warren Leruth dinner party.

Pudding
1 stick butter, softened
2 quarts whole milk
8 eggs
5 cups sugar
1 loaf stale poor-boy bread cut
or torn into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ cups raisins
2 tablespoons vanilla
½ teaspoon mace

Topping
1 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, in pieces

Preparation
Heat oven to 375°.
Spread 3-quart baking dish with softened butter. Mix eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and mace, and whisk to make custard. Stir in raisins. Add bread and soak for 10 minutes; then pour into pan.

Bake until pudding is almost firm. Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 425°. Carefully pour liquid whipping cream over top and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of sugar and pieces of butter. Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes to allow cream to set. Serve with crème fraiche if you wish.