One last follow-up to the Very Vintage Halloween Party! I wanted to share my recipe for Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding. My husband loves bread pudding, but it can be a tricksy thing. Lots of recipes call for baking it in a water bath (too much work!), others end up making a bread pudding that is dry or too dense or otherwise flavorless.
This recipe I adapted from my conventional bread pudding recipe, which calls for cinnamon and raisins. The key is to soak all the bread without being too runny, so add more milk if you need to.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (or 2 cups homemade pureed pumpkin)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or cinnamon with a pinch of clove and nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 loaf of unsliced bread (I prefer day-old challah)
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Heat the butter and milk over medium heat until the butter is just melted (stir occasionally to accelerate the melting). Remove from heat.
Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and fill a 9"x13" ungreased pan (I prefer glass)
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, spices, and pumpkin. Stir in cranberries, then fold in bread in stages until all is well-soaked. Add more milk at this stage if you need to.
Pour the bread mixture into the ungreased pan and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. No need for a water bath or to cover it!
Serve warm or cold with plenty of whipped cream.
The best part about this bread pudding? Not only was it quick and easy to make the morning of the Halloween party, it also made SEVERAL converts to bread pudding. Lol. A number of people at the party mentioned that they either didn't like bread pudding and liked this one, or that it was the best bread pudding they'd ever had. Plus, it doesn't suffer much from storage in the fridge (if anything it just gets more moist) and is perfect for just about any fall gathering, including, (gasp!) Thanksgiving!
So hope you enjoy this recipe and happy fall baking!
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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