I know what you're thinking. I only know this because I'm very clairvoyant. But you're wrong. It's not pudding that tastes like pumpkin bread. It's bread pudding that tastes like pumpkin. And I'm not actually clairvoyant. I had to look it up to make sure I spelled it right, that's how unclairvoyant I am. A real clairvoyant person would already know how to spell clairvoyant, because they would be so clairvoyant-ish. And now that I've said that word so many times it just sounds weird. But unclairvoyant is not a word. My spell checker doesn't like it.
That said, you should make this. It's divine. Original recipe is here a la Martha Stewart. And, oddly enough, Martha didn't take a picture with her cell phone like I did. Weird. So you can go look at her pretty picture if mine doesn't make your mouth water.
Hopefully I can get my regular (read: fantastic) bread pudding recipe up here soon. (It's up now! Here ya go! ) But this is a great change. My comments are below.
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for ramekins
6 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup hot water
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
One 12-ounce, day-old loaf brioche or challah bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1.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.
2.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.
3.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, un-mold onto plates; dust with confectioners' sugar.
I love that this recipe says it makes 6 servings. This is one of those desserts I like to enjoy with my man once the kids are all in bed, so it doesn't need to serve an army. I don't have 10-oz ramekins, mine are the smaller creme brule type, so I ended up making 8 small ones and one larger one in a little Corningware dish I have. That said, I think it was better in the smaller dishes because 10 oz is quite a large serving! However you bake it, just be sure to adjust cooking times if you put the ingredients in bigger or smaller dishes than the recipe instructs using.
Also, the directions say to invert the dishes and serve. But, like I said above, this is something I'll probably only serve 2 at a time. If you're not serving right away, feel free to leave them in the dishes, cover liberally with plastic wrap, and stick in the freezer. When serving, remove and allow to defrost to room temperature, then zap in the microwave or reheat in a hot oven.
Remember when making bread pudding of any kind that the quality of bread you use is very important. Wonder Bread is not what we're looking for. A thicker dense white bread with a slightly crispy crust is best. Breads shouldn't be fresh or you'll end up with a more mushy dish that all kind of melts into one entity. Bread pudding should have multiple textures and flavors in each bite.
Lastly, I didn't have any Bourbon, so I just doubled the water and I didn't notice anything lacking. But if you do have it, I highly recommend it, as I'm sure it warms up the dish and gives it just a bit more flavor.