Every morning this week, before the eyelids parted, allowing visual stimulation to monopolize my brain, I have thought about…. drum roll…. Pumpkins. Pumpkin soup. Been there done that. Glazed pumpkin bread. Better. Pumpkin custard or pots de crème… hmmmm. Then it hit me, plunging into my thought pattern like an asteroid targeting the earth. Pumpkin bread pudding.
Do I wish these epiphanies contained material slightly more enlightening or benefited humankind on a broader scale? Often. Do they habitually relate primarily to food? Yes. It’s just how I’m wired. Because most of my readers share this similar peculiarity, I think I’m hanging with the right crowd.
Did going to the Saturday market in Hamburg and seeing these gorgeous shapes and colors influence me? Of course they did.
These kurbis are pumpkins but a little different than the ones we are use to in the states. I decided to work from scratch, roasting instead of opening a can for my pumpkin bread pudding because a) I like it and b) I can’t remember finding canned pumpkin here. Although it may come in a glass jar. And there is no harm in opening a can if that’s what works for you. To cook these pumpkins, I cut them in half, removed the seeds and baked them at 375° with a dash of maple syrup for close to an hour. Sometimes I’ll add a little water to the bottom of the pan so they don’t dry out.
Not having the patience or desire this particular morning to create or tweak recipes, I did a quick google check. Bingo… the Pioneer Woman had a post on it two years ago. Despite the recipe originating with Bobby Flay (you can go here directly for the recipe), her post was delightfully honest and humorous as she describes how her daughter chose this pumpkin bread pudding over her mother’s dessert. She is a funny woman.
Bobby Flay’s recipe also calls for a creme anglaise that I didn’t do and a spicy apple caramel sauce that I did. Liquid gold I tell you. I followed the recipes pretty exactly, except I used rum instead of bourbon and ended up with extra custard ( it is poured on the cut up pumpkin bread). I made half the called for caramel sauce as it was just O and I eating it and well… that’s just a lot of caramel sauce to consume. At first, I found it a little sweet. But it died down once partnered with the bread pudding and personally I liked it cold. I also whipped up some cream.
You start by making the pumpkin bread. You’ll whip up the batter. Bake it. All the while, aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves fill your nostrils. You’ll pull this bread out and think why go any further. But it’s worth it. And of course we nibbled off the bread. Which may be why we only needed about half the custard to drench the pumpkin bread.
During this time, you can make the custard. I actually tried cooking up our extra custard but it just got really hot and didn’t firm up. Not enough eggs, I’m sure. It was sort of like egg nog after it cooked. Not that I drank it. Because that would be gross. duh.
I also chose to use a cake tin. Eight inch because I wanted some form and height. I lined the bottom of the tin with parchment and I put a piece of parchment and tinfoil on top to cook for the first 45 minutes at which point I removed it and allowed it to crust up a little while it finished cooking. It’s cooked bain marie style (in a larger dish with hot water about half way up the sides of the tin)
I’ll warn you now, this recipe can take virtually a full day to prepare. But my 3rd piece was consumed after brushing my teeth and before I went to bed. It’s that good. This was a cold spicy slice, with ever so lightly sweetened whipped cream, drizzled… ok smothered, with an also cold apple schnapps spiked caramel sauce. This, my friends, was the best piece of all. I fully recommend eating the whole thing cold. And it wasn’t the high from eating it just before bed. I swear.
Though it whispered sweet seductions to me in the wee hours the following morning as I opened the fridge for milk, I refrained, choosing to allow my blood sugar to raise gradually with the honey from my tea. Let’s face it, the glycemic index from this decadence is off the chart.
It’s like the first bite of pumpkin pie the morning after Thanksgiving, when you actually have room in your stomach and your heart to appreciate it’s beauty. But better. Denser. More full bodied. I’m definitely making this for our holiday pumpkin dessert.
A little PS: I’m mostly relocating back to Orcas Island but am in Hamburg for three weeks to be with my wonderful husband, Ollie.
PPS: This post took almost as long to write as making the bread pudding. I’m working on my old laptop due to the fact my current one is on delayed repair (swallowing hard now…. sorely disappointed with Apple Store in Seattle ). The fun part was trying out my old version of photoshop. The challenging part is the HD being at maximum capacity. I’ll have little colorful swirling circles dancing in my dreams.
Until next time….