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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

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Serve with Vanilla Custard or Ice Cream and Sautéed Pears and Apples. Serves 6-8

1 loaf egg bread brioche or challah

Bread Pudding Custard:
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Vanilla Custard:
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For Pears and Apples:
3 tbsp butter
5 firm ripe, Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-9 inch baking dish.
Cut enough 1/4-inch-thick slices from loaf

Prepare custard:
In a large bowl whisk together ginger, maple syrup, milk, melted butter, heavy cream whole eggs and egg yolks. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well. Soak bread dlices in mixture and arrange in prepared baking dish. Pour remaining pumpkin custard over soaked bread.

Put baking dish into a larger pan and add enough water to larger pan to reach half-way up side of baking dish. Bake pudding in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until custard is set and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Remove baking dish from larger pan and cool pudding on a rack. To un-mold pudding, run a thin knife around edge of baking dish. Invert a large plate over cake pan and invert pudding onto plate. Cut into squares.

Meanwhile, make vanilla custard:
Prepare bottom part of double boiler with a quart of water making sure it will not reach the bottom of top. Whisk together maple syrup and egg yolks in the top of a double boiler In a small sauce pan bring heavy cream to a boil. Slowly pour hot cream over yolk whisking vigorously. Place top of double boiler over hot water and whisk until temp. reaches 165 degrees. Remove from stove, add vanilla extract, strain and cool completely over ice bath before refrigerating.

Pears and Apples: Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add pear and apple slices. Sautee until almost soft. Add maple syrup and cook until almost dry. This shouldn’t take more than 5 min. total.

Serve warm pudding with vanilla custard or ice cream and sautéed pears and apples.