I don’t like bread pudding. Or so I thought…
I’ve always thought of bread pudding as a southern food, which we never ate in our home, and I didn’t experience much of until I traveled with my job.
There are lots of things in the South that I loved… but bread pudding just wasn’t one of them. And then… I made this one. I tweaked and simplified it from Bobby Flay and I don’t know how different it ended up tasting, and I don’t care. We absolutely loved it and when I served it at my Christmas Tea Party last year it was the biggest hit of everything.
All components can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect holiday dessert in my book. Well… plus it’s delicious, delicious, delicious.. so that helps too. 🙂
PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING WITH CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (reserve scraped bean for another use)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
Pumpkin bread, prepared according to recipe below
Caramel Apple sauce, recipe below
Whisk the cream, milk, and vanilla bean seeds in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
Whisk the yolks, sugar, and pumpkin together in a large bowl. Add the hot cream mixture slowly, whisking to combine. Strain into another bowl.
Cut the pumpkin bread in 1 to 1/2 inch cubes and spread out in a 9 by 13 inch pyrex. Pour the custard over the bread, pushing to submerge the bread fully.
Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the pyrex pan in a larger roasting pan and adding hot water halfway up the sides of the pyrex.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 325 degrees.
Remove from water bath and let cool slightly before serving. Serve scoops topped with caramel apple sauce and whipped cream.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make this a couple days ahead of time, and rewarm in the oven just until warm. Best eaten warm.
4 T unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
scant 1 cup (8 oz) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
2/3 cup water
Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl.
Cream the butter, sugar, and oil with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Add the pumpkin puree, mix until well combined. Add eggs one at a time then add the flour mixture and water, mixing just until combined.
Butter a 9 inch loaf pan and spread batter in pan.
Bake at 350 for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
Cut cooled bread into 1/2 inch cubes and spread out on a large baking sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping once. Cool and set aside.
CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
1 cup cream
1/2 cup apple juice
1 star anise
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 T apple cider vinegar
Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
Remove from the heat and leave to steep for at least 20 minutes.
Strain into a clean pot and put on warm while you make the caramel in another pot:
Combine the sugar, water, and vinegar in a medium pot over high and cook without stirring until it is a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream, whisking constantly until smooth.
Make up to 2 days ahead of time, rewarming on low when needed.
Recipes adapted from Bobby Flay