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Sticky Bourbon Pudding

December 2018
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For the pudding:

1 packed cup chopped dates*
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup bourbon
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup finely chopped black walnuts (or pecans)

For the sticky bourbon sauce:

1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 oz. unsalted butter, diced and kept cold
1/4 cup bourbon

For the candied citrus slices:

4½ cups sugar
4 cups water
4 small satsumas or clementines or 1 pint kumquats, thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter eight (seven-ounce) ramekins.

Combine the dates, water, and bourbon in a medium saucepan with tall sides and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. The mixture will become foamy. Cool to room temperature.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

Combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until blended, about one minute. Add one egg and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the date mixture at the same time and beat on low until incorporated, about one minute. Scrape the bowl well. Repeat with the remaining egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into each prepared ramekin.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the puddings for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Place them on a wire rack and cool in the ramekins for 10 minutes. Spray the wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and carefully invert the puddings onto it. Remove the ramekins and allow the puddings to cool to room temperature.

Well wrapped, the puddings can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to a month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Chefs’ Note: Prepackaged desiccated, sugared, and chopped dates can be used but chopping whole dates is preferable because they contain more moisture. Cutting them is sticky. Their pro tip: dip the knife periodically in hot water during the cutting process or freeze the dates prior to chopping.

For the sticky bourbon sauce:

Combine the sugar, cream, and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for three minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon.

The sauce is served hot and should be cooked just prior to serving.

For the candied citrus slices:

Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the citrus slices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the slices, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until they are translucent. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook the slices, turning occasionally, until they are tender but still intact, about 10 minutes.

Using tongs, carefully remove the slices to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Leave at room temperature overnight to dry. The syrup can be saved to drizzle over waffles or saucers of sliced tart citrus.

Serve the puddings with warm sauce, candied citrus slices, and whipped cream.