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Heat the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla bean in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl and beat until pale yellow in color and all of the sugar has dissolved. Temper about a half cup of the cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously to incorporate well. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, or wooden spoon. Be sure to stir in the corners of the pot and lower the heat slightly. Stir the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes or until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the stove and strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in another bowl half-filled with ice and water to cool the custard. To chill the custard faster, stir it occasionally with a spoon.
Yield: approximately 4 cups
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla together. Whisk in the cream and milk. Fold in the bread and pralines. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Spoon the filling into each muffin tin. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is firm. Serve the pudding with the Anglaise sauce.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, heavy cream, butter, and water. Place over a medium-high heat and stir constantly until the pralines reach the softball stage, 238 to 240 degrees F. Add the pecans to the candy, and pull the pan off the stove. Continue to stir the candy vigorously with a wooden spoon until the candy cools, and the pecans remain suspended in the candy, about 2 minutes. Spoon the pralines out onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan and cool completely before serving.
Yield: 12 (3-inch) pralines