Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

I haven’t made this dessert in a couple of years, but it is one of the best uses for pumpkin out there. I was telling Jeff about it last night, because the first time I made it, I  think I made it 4 times in one month.  A little overkill, I know, but it’s fairly simple and really delicious. Besides, it’s November; don’t we all need more ways to bake pumpkin?

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce (from Epicurious)
originally published in Bon Appetit in 2000

Bread pudding

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice [you can just make your own blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice or nutmeg: about 3/4 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ginger, 1/4 t. cloves and nutmeg or allspice]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread (about 10-ounces) [sandwich bread works well, too]
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins [I leave this out–we’re not raisin fans here]

Caramel sauce

  • 1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

For bread pudding:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11×7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce:
Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Sift powdered sugar over bread pudding. Serve warm with caramel sauce.

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