Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

October 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments


Photo by Ray Graham

Just back from New Orleans, I’ve still got bread pudding — that city’s beloved dessert – on my mind. The best I had was at Commander’s Palace, some years ago, when a young buck named Emeril Lagasse was Miz Ella Brennan’s chef there.

So it was a pleasant reminder of my trip to the Crescent City when my cooking buddy Victoria Malmer, a former colleague at The Palm Beach Post and author of the “Tried and New” product review column, emailed me about a pumpkin bread pudding she concocted.

Dunkin Donuts pumpkin muffin

Dunkin Donuts pumpkin muffin

“I made this today – it came out great. I used Dunkin Donuts pumpkin muffins,” she wrote. You also could use their pumpkin donuts as well, she added.

Quick, easy and delicious

For “company” dessert, add a topping. Malmer said, “You’d want to sprinkle it with powdered sugar, or serve with a simple brandy sauce, or hard sauce maybe.”

I’d pair it with a rum glaze — the spices are a natural for rum. I’d also throw in pecans, but that’s just my South mouth talking – pecans go in anything I bake in fall.

Here’s her recipe, and mine below it, for the rum glaze. Note: You can assemble this several hours prior to or the night before baking.

Pumpkin-Bread Bread Pudding

  • 2 cups half and half (whole milk will work, but you lose some richness)
  • 1 can (15-ounces) pure pumpkin (NOT canned pie filling)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  •  3 large eggs (or egg beaters)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger, or 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (we both like Penzey’s)
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 pumpkin muffins or about 1 loaf of homemade pumpkin bread (Dunkin Donuts, Costco and Publix sell pumpkin muffins this time of year)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, or rum glaze (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-1/2-by-11-inch Pyrex pan, or similar oven-proof baking dish.

Make pumpkin custard: Whisk half-and-half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, (ginger if using) and vanilla extract in a large bowl to blend well.

Crumble muffins or bread into large chunks into buttered pan, and toast 5 minutes in oven. Remove from oven. Stir in golden raisins, if using.

Pour pumpkin custard liquid over the cubes/crumbles. Let stand 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean and center is set, about 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 generous servings.

Serving suggestions: Dust with powdered or cinnamon sugar; serve with creme Anglaise (use good quality melted vanilla ice cream); serve with dulce de leche ice cream or cinnamon ice cream, or with a brandy or rum glaze.

(Recipe created by Victoria Malmer.)

Rum glaze:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup spiced rum (or 2 tablespoons rum flavoring)

Melt butter in small pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and add water, stirring till smooth. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat; stir in rum and let sit 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, before using. If made ahead, warm over low heat to prevent burning.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Victoria Malmer // Oct 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Next time I make this, I’ll toast the muffins a little more, and make sure some poke out of the custard. I like the contrast of the smooth custard and crusty bits on top.

    Also, some taste testers asked for more raisins next time.

  • 2 Sullivan Web // Oct 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Had a real pain in the rear with rum glazes in the past, but this one is fantastic, and so simple!

    Gramma used to make bread pudding this time of year, so its got that sentimental value.

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