Pumpkin Bread Pudding

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I have been too busy these past few months that I totally forgot to post a recipe I prepared on Good Day Charlotte back in October. My brain is so fried that I can’t even remember the story that inspired my recipe. I thought about making something up, but that required way more brain cells than I can’t spare for creativity at the moment.

Between my kids’ basketball schedules, client needs, the novel and cookbook I’m supposed to be writing, and a gazillion other distractions, I have no time to think or remember anything that isn’t written down.  Fortunately, I have the super power to thrive on chaos when necessary, and everything that needs to get done usually does sooner or later. In the case of my pumpkin bread pudding post, it’s later.

So now I’ll just give it to you straight. This recipe combines the flavors of two holiday dessert favorites: bread pudding and pumpkin pie. It’s amazingly delicious and sings, “Happy holidays!” And if your life is as hectic as mine is right now, feel free to kick the bourbon up a notch. I did.

Let me know when you make this recipe. Take a picture and hashtag it #QUEENCITYKITCHEN. I can’t wait to see what you post!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Makes 8 servings

5 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin purée
3 cups half and half
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 loaf French bread, cut in 1-inch cubes

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup bourbon
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
Pinch kosher salt

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, pumpkin, half and half, sugars, bourbon, if using, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until combined. Whisk in the melted butter.

Lightly grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Place the cubed bread in the dish in an even layer, and pour the pumpkin mixture over it. Allow the bread to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Bake until the pudding is set and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes. Allow the pudding to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, make the bourbon sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the sugar until combined. Whisk in the heavy cream, bourbon, egg yolks, and salt. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes, whisking frequently. Do not let the sauce come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the sauce for 5 minutes.

Dust the bread pudding with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with bourbon sauce and whipped cream.


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