The ultimate fall comfort food
We’re deep into fall, which means it’s time to embrace autumnal ingredients. I’ve shared sweet potato and apple recipes, and now it’s time to highlight pumpkin. I love pumpkin-based dishes, both sweet and savory.
When I created this recipe, I wanted a bread pudding made with pumpkin bread, not just a bread pudding that has a pumpkin filling. It needed to be pumpkin front and center. I do believe this recipe delivers on that.
To learn more about this fall favorite, originally published in October 2010, keep reading.
While fall does mean the end of most local produce, there are some culinary highlights to this season, for me anyway. First, fall brings winter squash, which I happen to adore. Pumpkin, sunshine, butternut, acorn. . .the list could be quite long. Second, the cooler temperatures practically beg for something to be baked or simmered in the afternoon. There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread or simmering soup when it is chilly outside.
With these benefits in mind, what would be better than combining two into one? I did that recently, baking a couple loaves of pumpkin bread. While a slice of warm pumpkin bread with butter or cream cheese is a delightful treat, I decided to make something even more scrumptious- pumpkin bread pudding!
While I’ve never made pumpkin bread pudding previously, I decided it couldn’t be that difficult. To add a little more pressure to myself, I chose to make this as dessert at a family gathering at our house. As it turns out, making pumpkin bread pudding isn’t difficult, but the baking requires some of your attention. If the top bread pieces brown before the pudding is set, you may need to cover the pan with foil for the remaining baking time. As with any baking recipe, oven temperatures vary, which means your baking time will also.
Once it’s ready, it’s worth the watchful eye. Serve it warm, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; it’s sure to be a hit. For a little extra crunch, I would recommend adding chopped walnuts or pecans to the dish.
- 3/4 loaf pumpkin bread*, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spray a shallow, two-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place pumpkin bread cubes in pan; sprinkle with nuts, if desired.
- Combine eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl, and whisk well.
- Pour over pumpkin bread mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cover dish with foil, increase oven temperature to 400, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until pudding is set. (A knife inserted into the middle of the pan should come out clean.)
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve with desired topping.