Updated: Monday, 24 Dec 2012, 7:41 AM CST
Published : Monday, 10 Dec 2012, 12:22 PM CST
Recipe from Chef Richard Palm.
¾ cup raisins
1 to 2 teaspoons brandy (optional)
4 cups diced bread
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup milk plus 1 cup cream, or 2 cups milk
1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Put raisins in a saucepan and just cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to plump up the raisins. Remove from the heat and strain off the water. If you wish, add the brandy and let the raisins sit at least 30 minutes. (It will taste even better if you let them sit in the brandy overnight).
Spread the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and dry them in a 300° oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crispy but not brown. Put cubes of bread and raisins in a 2 quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, milk, cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Pour the custard over the bread and raisins.
Turn the cubes of bread to absorb custard.
Place baking dish in larger diameter pan. Pour lukewarm water in larger pan until water comes up 2/3 of sides of 1-1/2 quart dish. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 30-45 minutes or until set.
For the Caramel Sauce;
Put the sugar in a deep sauce pan. Stir constantly on medium high heat until sugar liquefies and turns mahogany brown. Immediately add the heavy cream and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly and serve with the Custard Bread Pudding.
Chef’s Note: When adding heavy cream to the sugar be careful as the cream will cause the melted sugar to boil up. The sugar will also become hard again but keep stirring! It will dissolve.
This bread pudding makes a great brunch dish. Serve with whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup, or with caramel sauce. The pudding tastes best when served warm, but not right out of the oven.