Bread pudding is nothing short of kitchen magic, in my opinion. One needs only to roughly mix a few humble kitchen staples together, bake the mess, and all of a sudden, in an act of culinary alchemy, a beautiful bread pudding appears. Rather than using a regular baking dish, I like to use a springform pan so that the presentation is a modern cake-like dessert rather than the more casserole-like rectangle that results from a baking dish. Either way, adding pumpkin and its favorite spices turns regular amazing bread pudding into really-really amazing bread pudding.
- 2 cups organic milk (or part half and half, if feeling naughty; soy milk for a vegan version)
- 1 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin puree, or 1 15-ounce can
- 1 cup maple sugar or Sucanat
- 2 large organic eggs (or egg substitute for a vegan version)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 cups day-old bread cubes—challah, brioche, baguette, etc
- 1 cup (or more if you like) Greek yogurt, mascarpone or fresh whipped cream for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Whisk milk pumpkin, maple sugar, eggs, spices and bourbon or vanilla in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes.
3. Let stand 15 minutes, then put pudding mixture in a 9-inch springform pan.
4. Bake bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
5. Let cool. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Remove ring from pan.
6. Top with a thick dollop of dairy, and sprinkle with candied pumpkin seeds.