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6 large eggs

3 cups heavy whipping cream

3 cups milk

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 16-ounce loaf day-old French bread, cut in 1-inch cubes, about 14 cups

2 cups coarsely chopped, toasted pecans

Praline sauce, recipe below

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add bread cubes, stirring to coat thoroughly. Let stand one hour, stirring occasionally to ensure an even coating. Stir in pecans.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish; pour mixture in, spreading evenly. Bake until bubbly around edges and firm in center, about 1 hour, shielding with aluminum foil after 45 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand five minutes after removing from oven. Serve with the following sauce.

Praline sauce

3 tablespoons salted butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until foamy and golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Whisk in cream and brown sugar; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in vanilla, nutmeg and salt; cook, whisking constantly, until bubbly, 2-3 minutes. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.


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