Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This is a lovely fall and winter dessert. It has all the flavour of pumpkin pie but it's less work (no crust) and I have to say I really love bread pudding. It's not a very sweet pudding; we ate it for dessert but we also ate the leftovers for breakfast. If you wanted to, you could add a bit more sugar or, better, just drizzle a little maple syrup over the top when you serve it.

This is fine with canned pumpkin, but it's always better to prepare and freeze some pumpkin in the fall to have over the winter yourself. Use a good cooking pumpkin, not the Connecticut Field Pumpkins now mainly sold for halloween decorations. They are bland and stringy.

I was a bit amazed - not shocked, unfortunately - to discover that 85% of the canned pumpkin sold in the United States comes from one farm. They had a crop failure last year, and the U.S. has been struggling with a pumpkin shortage all year. This years harvest is fine, and they're in the pumpkin again, but there's yet another reason to support local farmers.

8 to 10 servings
1 hour - 15 minutes prep time

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
8 cups diced stale sandwich bread, whole wheat or white
½ cup dried cranberries

2 cups cooked pumpkin purée
3 extra-large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup
2 ½ cups whole milk or light cream

Slice the loaf of bread and tear up or cube the slices, and mix them in a large lasagne pan (9" x 13") with the dried cranberries.

Beat the eggs into the pumpkin, one at a time. Mix in the spices, salt and vanilla. Mix in the maple syrup and the milk or cream.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the pumpkin custard mixture into the bread and cranberries. Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir again. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm and slightly puffed.

Serve warm or cold. Good plain, with whipped cream, ice cream or a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Last year at this time I made Korean Vegetable Pancakes and Plum Torte.


Jennifer said...

I didnt know that about where the canned pumpkin came from! The past couple years due to the shortage and increasing prices I've been canning my own pumpkin. This bread pudding with pumpkin and sweet spices looks yummy!

Ruth said...

I made my first batch of pumpkin puree for the freezer last night and can hardly wait to try this out. I roast cut up pie pumpkins in the oven with a bit of water and then put the pulp in the blender.

Miranda Rommel said...

I want this in my mouth. Righ now.

giz said...

Anything pumpkin works for me - I'm trying this recipe - it's easy and looks amazing.

Joanne said...

I am a serious bread pudding fiend and I am so happy to see this here! Because I am ALSO a pumpkin fiend!

Miss. Tarrah Dame said...

I have to make this ASAP! I'm obsessed with pumpkin...thanks for sharing!

goodworks1 said...

Actually, it comes from one processing plant, in Morton Illinois, but definitely NOT from one farm. They do contract with many, many farmers to grow the pumpkins they need for the plant.

However, the pumpkin crop failure covered the entire central Illinois region, so the effect was the same as you reported....