I spent the last hour of my life trying to figure out what to say about this bread pudding and the only thing I could think of is that it’s the most perfect bread pudding and the single best fall dessert. It’s soft and creamy and spicy and has the perfect amount of textural contrast with the addition of diced apples and dried cranberries. This begs to be made on a lazy Sunday afternoon with the temperatures are cool and you are craving something warm and cozy. I love to serve it with a strong bourbon-cider cocktail but a tall glass of milk is just as good if it happens to be made on a school night.
Be forewarned, the boy and I have been known to polish off almost the entire thing in one evening. If you manage not to then you have far better self control then us (but I already know everyone has better self control then me).
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from Gourmet
1 ½ cups whole milk (or 1 cup skim milk ½ cup heavy cream)
1 cup canned solid packed pumpkin
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
6 cups day old baguette or other crusty bread
2 apples, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat over to 350 degrees with the wire rack in the middle. While the oven is preheating, place the butter in an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan or a pie pan and then place the pan in oven for the butter to melt.
In a bowl toss together the bread cubes, apple, and dried cranberries. Whisk together the milk/cream, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Remove the pan from the oven when the butter is melted and drizzle the butter over the bread cubes. Then pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread cubes making sure all the bread gets coated. Transfer the bread/pumpkin mixture to the buttered dish and bake until custard is set, about 25 – 30 minutes.