And just like that, it was Thanksgiving…
In my family, Thanksgiving is usually hosted at my bother’s place, and it’s a pretty traditional one: turkey roasted with a bacon jacket, mashed potatoes, yams with marshmallows, grilled asparagus, candied carrots. One year, my sister-in-law (who is a vegetarian) and I made a Tofurkey, but it disappointed (although it tasted a lot better with turkey gravy on it).
I tend to get assigned dessert. I’ve done traditional pies (in honour of my mom) in apple and pumpkin, I’ve done pumpkin creme brûlée. This year, we are celebrating my dad’s birthday as well as Thanksgiving, so it might be a pumpkin chocolate cake.
Bread pudding is also a great option. This one marries pumpkin with the traditional pumpkin pie spices. It’s simple to make, and you could make it ahead, and then just rewarm it before serving. I am serving mine with a store-bought dulche de leche, but a caramel (homemade or store bought) would also pair quite nicely.
You can make this bread pudding gluten-free by using a gluten-free bread, as there is nothing with gluten in any of the other ingredients. I recently discovered a fabulous gluten-free brioche at Scandilicious on the very end of Victoria Drive, and that’s what I used for this recipe.
Pumpkin-Spiced Bread Pudding
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 300 ml-can pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 6 cups challah or brioche–it’s better if it’s a bit stale
- for garnish: dulche de leche, caramel sauce and/or whipped cream
- Cut up the bread into 1/2″ cubes, place in a large bowl, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, vanilla and bourbon.
- Pour the custard mixture over the bread cubes and mix well. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes so the bread can absorb the custard.
- Pour the bread pudding into a baking dish–9″ x 9″ or equivalent, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve family-style at the table with the dulche de leche or caramel and whipped cream on the side.