When I dreamed up the perfect Valentine's day dessert. I a few years back, it of course had to have something creamy in it. I took one of my favorites, pumpkin and combined it, bourbon.
For the bread pudding:
1 - 11oz brioche loaf (about 8 c. cubed)
2 c. half and half
2 c. whole milk
1 - 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 c. packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 TBSP butter (to grease the pan)
recipes for the sauces:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut your brioche into about 1 inch cubes and set aside. You can do this a day in advance so that your bread stales up. If you don't have that kind of time, just place them in the oven for about 5 minutes until they dry out but don't start to brown.
Combine the spices, eggs, cream, milk, salt, vanilla, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the brioche cubes and stir to combine. Lightly grease a 7x11 or 3 quart pan and pour your mixture into the dish. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, 60 minutes if you have the time - until the mixture is absorbed by the bread. Bake at 350 F for about 60 minutes. The bread pudding will have puffed slightly and have a light, golden brown top.
To serve, cut a large square and top with caramel and creme anglaise.
what goes better with pumpkin and bourbon than pecans?! don't know why i didn't think to add some nuts in before i started writing this out. definitely trying that next time! if you don't have whole milk, you can use whatever milk you have on hand. no half and half? use heavy cream instead. big into warm spices? add more cinnamon, all spice, star anise or even ground cloves. don't have brown sugar? you can use white sugar instead. you can also use your favorite type of bread challah would be an equivalent substitute but you can use french, italian or even country loaf. i've never tried it with regular sandwich bread but i would be interested to know if you try that how it turns out!
do you HAVE to make the two sauces? no, but i HIGHLY recommend. if two is asking too much, make the one that sounds the best to you. not down with either? maybe consider a little drizzle of maple syrup or a dollop of maple whipped cream? ice cream is always good in a pinch.