I made this recipe for the first time for my friend Dustin's birthday. He is a connoisseur of all things sweet and when he approved of it, I knew we had something good.
The bread pudding recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and as she points out on her blog, "it combines two great pleasures in life: pumpkin pie and baked French toast". Better yet, it's not slimy like pumpkin pie! Even my dad, who is very weird about textures and refuses pumpkin pie, liked this.
In case you find that the bread pudding isn't quite sweet enough, you can add a sweet cream sauce. I like to drizzle condensed milk over the top but I bet caramel sauce would be delicious too.
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream)
3/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon groung ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
A pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons of bourbon (optional)
5 cups (1 inch cubes) of day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Whisk together pumpkin, cream (if using), milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon (again, if using) in a bowl.
Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat.
Dump the whole mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve warm, drizzled with cream and with fresh fruit.