Once prepared by the less fortunate in early nineteenth century England as a way to repurpose stale bread, today bread pudding is considered a decadent comfort food dessert. Using pumpkin puree in bread pudding is one great way to add moisture and flavor to day-old bread cubes. Along with brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg, these flavors combine for a holiday treat the whole family will love. For even more texture, add a handful each of dried fruit and chopped nuts into the mix.
Bread pudding can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or chilled from the refrigerator. Many like to top their serving with a variety of toppings. The pumpkin flavor and warm spices work well when drizzled with hot caramel sauce, just before serving. Finish each serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, chopped pecans and a dusting of nutmeg. There you have a restaurant quality dessert.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound day-old crusty bread such as baguette or ciabatta (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Optional Toppings:
- Caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Chopped pecans, for sprinkling
- Ground nutmeg, for dusting
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 in baking pan.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
Mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add the bread cubes, raisins, and chopped pecans.
Toss gently to completely coat and submerge the bread cubes. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
Serve each square with a drizzle of prepared caramel sauce. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with additional chopped pecans and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg, as desired.
Enjoy! Refrigerate any remaining bread pudding within two hours of removal from oven.
Is bread pudding supposed to be moist?
Bread pudding should be tender and moist, not runny. To achieve the right consistency, bake until the center is just set. When undercooked, a gentle press on the bread will produce leaking custard. When overcooked, the final product will be dry.
Can I leave bread pudding out overnight?
Do not leave bread pudding out overnight as it is a custard base. Refrigerate within two hours of removing from the oven to properly and safely set. Reheat as needed.
How do you fix dry bread pudding?
Whether you did not soak the bread enough or you overcooked the dish, your result is a dry bread pudding. Have no fear! Some melted vanilla ice cream is your cheat for a quick Crème Anglais sauce. Pour it over and/or place under a serving of your bread pudding.