Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble the bread and soak for about 1 hour in the milk, sugar, egg mixture; add the vanilla flavoring. Bake in a greased 12 inch square Corning Ware dish in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Make meringue by beating egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until it is mixed together. Top the bread pudding with the meringue. Put the bread pudding back into the oven, raise the temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake the meringue until it reaches a golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. (To make a low-fat bread pudding use a 12-ounce can of Carnation Lite Evaporated milk, 2% whole milk, and 2 egg yolks instead of above). Cut and serve while still warm.
Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana