I was looking for a Thanksgiving themed dessert for our office Thanksgiving lunch. Every year I make a pumpkin cheesecake which is very time consuming, and this year I was also making the turkey, so I needed something quick, easy and tasty. I found quite a few Pumpkin bread pudding recipes. They were all pretty much the same and had the same ingredients, so I picked one of them and followed the recipe with just two tweaks. I used my favorite bread for bread pudding, brioche, and I added some bourbon to the praline sauce. When I mixed it together I was already worried about the egg milk mixture to bread ratio, but since all the recipes had the same ratio, I thought it had to be right. I was disappointed in the final product. It was way too dry. I really should have listened to my instincts. I like my bread pudding to be moist and this was not. The only thing that saved it was the sauce and I put plenty of that on it. So I have gone back and tweaked the recipe to increase the egg milk mixture so that it would come out more “pudding” like. Here is the final recipe. I think you will like it.
1 (1 lb.) loaf of Brioche bread
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking with cooking spray. Cut bread into cubes and put into the dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, half and half, pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread pieces in the baking dish. Make sure that all the bread pieces are covered with the egg mixture, push them down into the egg mixture if needed. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, do not let it get too dark.
For the Praline sauce you need:
1 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup chopped pecans
In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat , stir together the butter, cream and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in pecans, Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add bourbon and stir well. Pour sauce over bread pudding when serving. Serves about 12-14 people.