Monday, November 15, 2010

Wannabe Pumpkin Pie

You know how I said I was still trying to figure things out? I am, but I can't quit posting recipes. I love food and baking too much.

If you were wondering about what I baked on Saturday afternoon, it was pumpkin bread pudding. I was craving pumpkin and fall flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Blame it on Starbuck's and an at-home version of the Pumpkin Latte from Daily Nibbles via Eat Live Run's Thanksgiving recipe swap. Seriously, I might have to buy a small Bialetti espresso maker.

To satisfy pumpkin cravings, the first recipe that comes to mind is obviously pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, John doesn't like the texture, so that's out. Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake? Nope, John doesn't really like cheesecake or cream cheese in general. I considered pumpkin cupcakes for about 0.2 seconds, but I didn't want a dozen cupcakes sitting around my apartment. It's not like I'm currently training for a marathon.

What to do? Of course, Martha Stewart has the answer. The "food" portion of her website had a whole gallery devoted to pumpkin desserts. Pumpkin jackpot! Ultimately I settled on the pumpkin bread pudding (which was approved by John), but there were also unique twists on pumpkin pie, pumpkin flan, pumpkin cake, and all sorts of other goodies.

Don't tell John, but the bread pudding was pretty darn similar to pumpkin pie. Probably because they share many of the same ingredients. And if you were wondering, yes, the leftovers are great for breakfast the next day :)

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Butter or cooking spray, for baking dish

1 baguette (8 ounces), sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 large eggs
1 quart half-and-half
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/8 tsp allspice
3/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter or spray an 8-inch square or 2-quart shallow baking dish; set aside.
2. Toast bread on a baking sheet in oven, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
3.In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, vanilla, and salt.

4. Add toasted bread; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface. Place a plate small enough to fit inside bowl on top of plastic; weight with a large canned good. Let soak until bread is saturated, about 25 minutes.

5.Transfer mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Bake on a baking sheet until firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.

6. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar and topped.

-I didn't bake the bread pudding right away. I put the soaked bread and some of the extra half-and-half mixture in my baking dish and let the bread continue to soak for about 3 hours before baking.
-Don't have those individual spices? Use one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice.
-Martha says, "It's very important to make sure the bread soaks up the flavorful custard to ensure a velvety consistency."

Do you crave certain foods based on the seasons? Anyone else have an aversion to pumpkin pie?
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  1. That looks so good!! And even though I'm not a food blogger, I, too, like to throw a recipe here and there! I'm going to attempt to make something "pumpkin" this year too :)

  2. MMMM I bought some pumpkin this year and want to make something too.

  3. I totally recommend this recipe! I hope you try this out or something else with pumpkin. You won't regret it :)


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