A few of you asked for the Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe about which I posted yesterday. Since I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the pumpkin bread on its own, and I was most assuredly dissatisfied with the sweetened condensed milk (the base for the caramel sauce) on its own, I hadn’t intended to post the recipe.
But you know what they say about the sum of individual parts. . . despite the haphazard way the dish came together, it ended up being a winner, so I’ll try to reconstruct the recipe here. It was a huge hit and would make a spectacular New Year’s Eve dessert served in wine or martini glasses.
[BIG caveat: I didn’t take notes while making this, so you may have to play with proportions a bit, particularly with the caramel sauce. Results may vary.]
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Warm Caramel Sauce (GF option)
With pumpkin in both the bread and the “custard” in which it bakes, this pudding is definitely rich in pumpkin. Lightly spiced, this moist bread pudding is highlighted with a rum-infused caramel sauce.
For the Bread Pudding:
1/4 cup (60 ml.) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick or instant)
2 cups (480 ml.) vanilla rice , soy or almond milk
1/2 cup (120 ml.) packed pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 tsp. (5 ml.) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml.) agave nectar, light or dark
1 Tbsp. (15 ml.) organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
For the Caramel Sauce:
1 recipe of condensed milk (I used agave instead of sugar and almond milk instead of soy)**
about 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
about 1/4 cup coconut oil
2-4 Tbsp. (30-60 ml.) rum, if desired
pinch fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease a nonreactive (glass or ceramic) 9-inch (22.5 cm.) square pan or soufflé dish.
Slice the bread into thick slices, about 2 inches (5 cm.) thick. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on each side to dry out the bread somewhat (alternately, if you’ve already got stale bread–great!). Cool the bread and break it into bite-sized chunks; place in a large bowl.
In a blender, grind the oats until they are the consistency of a coarse meal. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture over the bread in the bowl, pushing the bread down with the back of a spoon so that all pieces are submerged. Allow to sit 20-30 minutes, pressing the bread back down occasionally, until the bread is completely soaked through (there may still be liquid left in the bottom of the bowl; this is fine).
When the bread is all soaked, spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the top as best you can.
Bake in preheated oven 40-50 minutes, until puffed and browned on top and a knife inserted in the centre comes out wet but clean. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with caramel sauce, at room temperature, or cold. Makes 8-12 servings.
Follow directions for sweetened condensed milk, cooking until the milk is reduced to 1 cup. Add remaining ingredients and heat over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to bubble; then continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and has darkened. To test if it’s ready, pour about a teaspoon of the sauce into a small, chilled bowl. If it thickens to the desired consistency, it’s ready; if it’s still too thin, cook and stir another 5-10 minutes. Pour over warm pumpkin bread pudding.
**Note: I used the condensed milk as the base for caramel sauce because I’d already made it for another purpose, and wasn’t happy with the result for that recipe. . . so decided to turn it into caramel sauce. Of course, you could just use ready-made sauce, or any other recipe for caramel sauce if you prefer. [UPDATE, November 2011: it appears that the original recipe I linked to is no longer available, so I've linked to a recent recipe I found on the internet. Worth a try!].
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