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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

November 21, 2012 4 comments

Not sure I’ve posted a recipe without a photo. But I am tonight, because I don’t have time to make the dish and take a photo. Plus, I wanted to get it posted before Thanksgiving. Ok, so there isn’t a lot of time to make this in time for Thanksgiving, but it is quick. And you might be making a pumpkin pie anyway, you could have leftover bread, so you might have all the ingredients already. And maybe you feel like trying something new.

This Pumpkin Bread Pudding is a nice alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie. It combines the best of two worlds–pumpkin pie and bread pudding! It’s not just for Thanksgiving time; you can make it year round. I keep a bag of bread cubes in the freezer. If we have an extra chunk of bread, it goes in the bag. When I get enough, then I make it.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Many thanks to all of you.

Bread Pudding

5 cups stale firm bread “cubes” (crusty French bread, cinnamon swirl bread, etc.)

3 tablespoons melted butter

1⅓ cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream

15 ounces pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin is fine)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup golden raisins (or dried cranberries)

½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Optional toppings: whipped cream, warm dulce de leche or caramel sauce, whiskey sauce, and/or a sprinkle of pecans.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter in an 11×17 baking dish. Swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides. This is a lot of butter, but you will later pour the excess into the pumpkin mixture. Tear or cut the bread into medium pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the bread with ⅓ cup of sugar, toss it around, and let it sit while you prepare the pumpkin mixture.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add 1 cup sugar, half-and-half, pumpkin, excess butter, salt, spices, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread and stir. Place half in the baking dish, sprinkle with raisins and pecans. Top with remaining mixture. Top with the other half of the mixture. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until firm and lightly brown. Serve warm with one of the toppings or enjoy it plain! 

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