Are you interested in serving something other than (or perhaps in addition to) a classic pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving? Try my pumpkin croissant bread pudding with caramel sauce – guaranteed to make you and your guests swoon!
Traditionally, bread pudding was an economical way to serve dessert – an easy means to use leftover bread that would otherwise be thrown away. Torn or cubed bread is soaked in a sweetened egg mixture, accompaniments are added and then it is all baked in an oven. Typically, bread pudding recipes call for white bread but I love using croissants or egg bread for their richness and sweet flavour.
Pumpkin Croissant Bread Pudding
- 1 cup milk skim, 1%, 2% or whole milk – whatever is on hand
- 1 cup 35% heavy cream
- 1 15- ounce can pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 cups ½-inch cubes of croissants about 10 ounces
- ½ cup golden raisins can omit or replace with chopped crystallized ginger, if desired
- 1¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup brandy
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Whisk the milk, heavy cream, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in croissant cubes. Stir in golden raisins.
- Transfer mixture to 11” x 7” 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:
- Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until it is melted.
- Add brown sugar and whisk in cream and brandy and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Add ¼ cup brandy for a “tipsy” caramel sauce.
- Serve pudding warm with caramel sauce drizzled overtop (and whipped cream, if desired!)
Dana Shortt is a mother of two and the owner/operator of Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts. The shop is a boutique-style gourmet food store specializing in hand crafted prepared meals, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar, gift baskets and quality chocolates from local suppliers. Dana received her formal culinary training at George Brown College. Along with her Culinary Management Diploma, she also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph.