Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin bread pudding was on the testing list for Thanksgiving this year. This is pretty much the easiest dessert you could make. It doesn't make the cut for the big event because I think it tastes best warm and it is really rich--richer than pie and therefore not the right thing after a big meal.

But if you're having a small autumn dinner party or you just want to make a weeknight dessert this is for you--assuming you like both pumpkin and bread pudding.

The biggest snag in this recipe is that you have to plan ahead a little bit and buy the bread a day before--or if your bread at your local grocery is as fresh as ours you might want to try two days. Or maybe you can toast your bread a little in the oven or in a dry pot on the stove before using it in the dessert. For us, our bread wasn't as crisp as we would have liked.

You only need 1 french baguette for this recipe. We didn't have allspice so we just substituted a bit of nutmeg.

1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Whisk together cream, pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, and spices in a bowl.
Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

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