Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding
I think I have established here that I am not normally a dessert fan. Especially when the dessert is so clingingly sweet you need a jackhammer to remove the sugar buildup from your teeth. However, when a dessert can balance the spice and sweet tastes, then you have me. This Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding walks the perfect culinary tight rope, and I am confident that it will bring a smile to your taste buds as well.
The key in my mind is the cast-iron skillet. It firms the texture of the underbelly of the bread pudding perfectly. Those of you who are texture eaters will appreciate this. Bread pudding can be wildly inconsistent. Some are gooey soft and some are dryer than the desert and shouldn’t ever be called a dessert. The cast-iron properly crisps the edges while preserving the moist custard inside.
- 1 (16-ounce) loaf challah bread, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1¾ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1⅓ cups canned pumpkin
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup pecan halves
- Garnish: confectioners’ sugar, sorghum syrup
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare your 12-inch cast-iron skillet by spraying with a baking spray that contains flour.
- While the oven is warming, in a large bowl, stir together bread and raisins. In another large bowl, whisk together cream, pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over bread mixture; stir until combined. Let stand for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared skillet. Bake until you can insert a wooden toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. This should take about 45 to 50 minutes. Cover with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary.
- Sprinkle with pecans. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar and sorghum syrup, or whipped cream if desired.