Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Glorious Pumpkin Bread Pudding....YUM!

Thinking of something different to make for Thanksgiving, why not try a delicious form of New England Bread Pudding. And if you think it would be too much for the day, make it over this weekend. I love bread pudding any time of the year. I enjoy this as much as my Chocolate-Caramel version, during the Christmas holidays.
I use pecans or almonds as a topper when baking for an added crunch. I also bake mine in a water bath, for that steamed pudding like effect, but you really don't have to if you have a convection oven which distributes the heat. A water bath will evenly cook the pudding. To water bath, place pan in a larger pan and fill with a 1 1/2 inches of water, after you have placed it on the oven shelf. When getting it out after baking, be very careful not to get burnt. Take inner pan out and leave the larger in to cool.

- For the Bread Pudding -
1 Loaf stale bread - (I prefer cinnamon or challah) cut into cubes
1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15 ounces)
3 Large Eggs,
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1Teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 Tablespoons of Dark Rum (optional)
Pinch of Salt
Pecans or almonds

- For the Hot Buttered Rum Sauce -
1 Stick (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
3 Tablespoons Dark Rum


**Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the Bread Pudding:

**Grease a 9 x 13 pan with melted butter, place bread cubes in evenly.
**In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, milk, rum, salt and spices.
**Pour ingredients into prepared baking dish. Let stand for 30 minutes to let the bread soak. Sprinkle on pecans or almonds if you prefer.
**Place pan on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes. **Good bread pudding is moist, so don't overcook. Some will bake in a water bath, which is fine too!

For the Hot Buttered Rum Sauce:
**Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the brown sugar and heavy cream.
**Let the mixture just come to a boil. Let cool a minute, then add the rum.
**The rum sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time. Reheat until just warm.

To Serve:
Cut the bread pudding into squares or scoop and place onto dessert plates. Drizzle the hot buttered rum sauce over the top. If you like, you can add whipped cream and candied ginger.

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