Pumpkin Bread Pudding
If you don't have pumpkin-pie spice, you can instead use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon mixed with 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and nutmeg. It's very important to make sure the bread soaks up the flavorful custard to ensure a velvety consistency.
- Butter, for baking dish
- 1 baguette (8 ounces), sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 4 large eggs
- 1 quart half-and-half
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square or 2-quart shallow baking dish; set aside. Toast bread on a baking sheet in oven, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Add toasted bread; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface. Place a plate small enough to fit inside bowl on top of plastic; weight with a large canned good. Let soak until bread is saturated, about 25 minutes.
Transfer mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Bake on a baking sheet until firm and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar and topped with whipped cream, if desired.