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PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING

A different Pumpkin dessert for that Thanksgiving Dinner!

6 Tablespoons Dark-Brown Sugar
1 cup Raisins
1/3 Cup Bourbon (optional)
1/3 Cup Hot Water
1 Fifteen-Ounce Can Pumpkin Puree
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1.5 Cups Milk
2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 Twelve-Ounce Day-old loaf brioche or challah bread - cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Pinch of Salt
Confectioners' Sugar, for dusting
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for ramekins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six 10-ounce ramekins or custard cups, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and set aside on a baking sheet. Place raisins in a small bowl, and cover with bourbon, if using, and the hot water; let soak until plump, about 20 minutes. Drain; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, spices, and salt. Toss in the bread cubes, and stir gently to evenly coat; let stand a few minutes. Fold in the raisins. Divide among prepared dishes, pressing down slightly to make level.

Bake until custard is set in the center and top is golden, about 40 minutes. If bread browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, unmold onto plates; dust with confectioners' sugar.


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