Ready or not, Thanksgiving is next week! I love my pumpkin pie as much as my son Alex but isn't it time to add a bit of whimsy and excitement to the dessert selection this year? . My bread pudding is quite famous around these parts and has even crossed the Atlantic to London ( I kid you not!) Presented in a pumpkin, it is the perfect surprise to end your perfect holiday meal.
Bread Pudding baked in a Pumpkin
1 3-4 lb pumpkin, shorter rather than taller (top cut off and seeds scooped out,
like a jack o' lantern) or 2 smaller pumpkins
3 c bread, cut into cubes and left out to dry for a few hours or overnight (french baguette or any bread that's hearty, even raisin bread works great)
1 3/4 c heavy cream
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 t pure vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1 c brown sugar (white sugar is what I normally use but I wanted brown for the molasses taste for this rendition)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin shell on a sheet pan and place the bread cubes inside. They should cover the bottom of the pumpkin in 2 or 3 layers, loosely packed. Beat the eggs lightly in a medium bowl. Add the cream, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the bread cubes and allow to sit for 10 minutes to let the bread soak up the custard mixture. Put the lid on the pumpkin and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the custard is set, the pumpkin is soft and the top is browned. Allow to sit out until cool enough to serve. Present at the table or buffet with the lid on. Scoop the bread pudding out along with some of the pumpkin and serve with whipped cream.
Voted Best Caterer for Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties 2016