New Orleans Bread Pudding

I never thought of myself as a bread pudding snob, but I think I am.
Recently my daughter graduated from St Pius Catholic School. My friend Debra arranged for some of the parents to get together for dinner. One last time before graduation. So, a few of the parents met at a local restaurant, one last time. I really enjoyed our dinner, talking and reminiscing. When dinner was done the waitress asked us about desert.
“They make the most divine bread pudding,” my friend Carol tells me.
“Bread pudding,” I ask sort of turning my nose up at it.
“No thanks,” I say, “I am rather full from dinner.”
My husband orders the bread pudding and a few extra spoons. When they bring it out, it is warm and smells really good.
He takes a bite.
“How is it,” I ask.?
“Very very good,” he replies.
“Want a bite,” he asks?
“No thanks,” I say as I scoop up a spoonful for my friend Pam.
She takes a bite. “Very good” she says, as she hands me the spoon back.
“Really,” I say raising my eyebrow. 
So I decide not to be so stubborn and I take a bite.
HOLY COW!
Carol was right, it was divine and a lot of other stuff that I cant describe.
So my bread pudding snobbery came to a screeching halt.
The usual thoughts ran through my mind as I enjoyed something spectacular. So I checked out the menu, What is this called? What is in it? How do you make it? Can I duplicate it at home?
They called it New Orleans Bread Pudding.
So began my quest to duplicate it. I did some research and this is what I came up with.
I hope you enjoy it.
Oh yeah, and this is delicious for breakfast, without the rum sauce, or with.
Just saying.

New Orleans Bread Pudding
Adapted from Homegrown Louisiana Cookin
1 loaf stale French bread
1 quart milk
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup diced apples
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Break the bread over a large bowl into chunks.
In another bowl, beat the milk and sugar into the eggs. Mix in the vanilla, apples and raisins. then pour over the bread and mix everything together.

Pour into a greased baking dish. Push the bread down with your hands. Make sure that the milk and egg mixture is absorbed into the bread.  Bake for 30-40minutes, or until golden brown.

Rum Sauce
2 large eggs
1/4 cup rum
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup cream whipped to soft peaks
In a saucepan bet the eggs, and rum over low heat. Slowly add the sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat, gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour over the warm bread pudding.

Peace be with you,
Veronica