There is a very good reason that every person who knows what’s good for them is in love with pumpkin bars in the fall. There is a very good reason that all food bloggers in this wide world are posting pumpkin posts like the world’s supply is near exhaustion. And there is a very good reason that I have become obsessed with trying every single one of them.
And that reason is that pumpkin is delicious. Happy Pumpkin Week.
“Pumpkin is delicious.” Ha. I am well aware that I have been slacking on my food descriptions on this blog. Like, I should be describing this pumpkin bread pudding as a glorious amalgamation of crisp and tender bread chunks melded and moisted together by a fragrant pumpkin custard that is best described as “dreamy…”
…but I just sometimes use up all my creativity on other things sometimes. So I’m really sorry. I’ll just let the pictures do the work for me, I guess. And if you call me, I will rave on and on to you about this bread pudding. Because, really, it is the best thing I have eaten all week. Actually, all month. Actually, possibly since Terre de Truffes.
I made a maple cream cheese glaze for it, which in this case was only gilding the lily. It would have been glorious without, but if you have some spare cream cheese lying around, I mean, no one is stopping you.
I did one bread pudding before, and this one is just as easy. Probably easier, in fact, because you don’t have to make caramel. Bonus.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Put the butter in an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ baking dish, and stick it in the oven as it preheats to melt the butter.
Chunk up the bread into 1 inch cubes. When the butter in the dish is melted, toss in the bread cubes and stir around until well-coated with butter.
Whisk all the remaining wet and dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Pour over the buttered cubes.
Bake until set, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a maple cream cheese frosting, which you can find below.
Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until glaze reaches a pourable consistency. Beat in extract, and pour over warm pudding.