Bread Pudding is a rich comfort food that is very quick and easy to make and is sure to become a favourite!
Last Autumn I did the Fall Baking class at the local Williams-Sonoma and decided to break the rules just a bit and show how adding one of the fall staples at the store can turn something good into something great.
I've taken a basic bread pudding recipe and added pumpkin butter to capture some of those great autumn flavours we all love. This pudding is also a great alternative to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
4 cups Challah Bread - cut into 1/2 inch squares (Brioche works well too)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar (turbinado sugar or Sugar In The Raw works best)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 13 ounce jar Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (available at Williams Sonoma in the autumn months, and yes, most US stores already have their Pecan Pumpkin Butter in stock!)
With the rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 350F (180C) Butter a 9 or 10 inch pie dish and spread the bread cubes evenly. (at times I have used a 9 inch square pan as well, but presentation-wise using the pie dish really plays on the 'alternative to pumpkin pie' concept)
Over medium heat warm the cream just until steam starts to rise, this is usually about 3 minutes. Remove the cream from the heat and set aside.
As the cream is resting, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin butter in a bowl. (okay, I admit, sometimes I am not in the mood to separate eggs and just add two eggs - the recipe works out just fine!)
While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour the warm cream into the egg mixture.
It is important to constantly whisk the egg mixture at this point. (Pouring too much warm cream at one time will cause the eggs to scramble) If pouring from the saucepan at the same time you whisk is a challenge, scoop the cream using your cup measure and add a little at a time.
Once the cream is fully whisked into the egg mixture pour it over the bread cubes. Using a spoon, dunk any bread cubes that remain dry so they can absorb some of that great pumpkiny flavour.
Place your pie dish on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, usually about 30 minutes.
Bread puddings always taste great warm but let this rest about 5 minutes or so after removing it from the oven before serving.