12 October 2009

Pumpkin for dessert

I'm traveling this week, so I thought I'd pull out a recipe from a 2007 blog post that's perfect for the season. Too often we think those cans of pumpkin puree are only good for pies and quick breads. But they offer so much more than that. Add it to soups, cookies, pancakes or oatmeal any time of year. And this time of year, a warm pumpkin dessert just feels right.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding is so easy, I actually pulled it off last Thanksgiving while roasting a Turkey and nursing a 7-week-old baby. Bread pudding is best made with a challah loaf or some other type of soft, sweet bread that is quite delicious in its own right. This recipe calls for an egg bread, which challah is. Brioche would also work, and, I suppose, in a pinch, you could pull some Texas Toast white, so the cubes could be nice and large.

Make it. Enjoy it. And add ice cream.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding,
Bon Appetit

Bread pudding ingredients
2 cups half and half
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread (about 10-ounces)
1/2 cup golden raisins

Caramel sauce ingredients
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

Powdered sugar

For bread pudding: Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce: Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Sift powdered sugar over bread pudding. Serve warm with caramel sauce.

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