This is a marvelous dessert to make for your holiday meal. If you love bread pudding you will love this version. The pumpkin and spices add a nice holiday flair to this traditional dessert. The best part is most of it can be done ahead of time and it takes about an hour to cook so you can pull it out of the oven just as you are finishing their main course. I found the original recipe via Bobby Flay on FoodNetwork.com. I simplified things a bit so it could work for our schedule. Instead of making the caramel sauce the recipe called for I used Stonewall Kitchen’s Spiced Rum Butterscotch sauce. Great-News in Pacific Beach sells this sauce or I’m sure you could find it at specialty food store. The cream sauce that goes on top of the bread pudding is amazing and worth the extra bit of effort. The good news is the cream sauce can be made a day or two ahead of time. We served pears poached in apple juice and a variety of spices with the bread pudding. The pears tasted fantastic with the bread pudding. We topped each serving with spiced rum butterscotch sauce.
There are several steps to this recipe. I started by making the pumpkin bread two days ahead of time. I’d recommend preparing the cream sauce the day before. Then the day of all you have to do is assemble and bake the bread pudding the morning of your meal.
- Recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise Sauce -
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Step 1. Directions and Ingredients to Make the Pumpkin Bread
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 ounces (scant 1 cup) canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 4 tablespoons softened butter, sugar, and oil at high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.
Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Once the bread is cool, slice in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread the cubes on a large baking sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven until lightly toasted, turning once, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2. Directions and Ingredients to Make the Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup pure cane sugar
Bring the half-and-half and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until at the pale ribbon stage. Slowly whisk in the hot half-and-half, return the mixture to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set over an ice bath. Stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Step 3. Directions and Ingredients to Make Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 cup pure canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Pumpkin Bread, toasted and cubed, recipe follows
- Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise, recipe follows
- Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce, recipe follows
- Freshly whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined, remove the vanilla pod, and whisk in the bourbon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.
Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking glass baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for about 4 hours.
Bake the pumpkin bread for about 1 hour, until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly. Cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Spoon some of the Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise into a shallow bowl, top with some of the bread pudding and drizzle with the spiced rum butterscotch sauce.