First of all, you are probably now asking yourself two things…1)What makes THIS pumpkin bread pudding so extraordinary?and 2) What the HECK is a gongoozler? I will proceed to explain both if you are patient.
Oh how I wish I could transport that nice little casserole dish to you so you could slowly chew the spongy, luscious pumpkin bread pudding permeated with ginger and cinnamon-y goodness. I would even pour you a cup of coffee while I state my case. Then my case would be self-evident, and you and I could just sit back and enjoy the ride.
But instead, I feel I must prove to you why this pumpkin bread pudding is a complete show stopper and will most assuredly be the crowning glory to any autumn inspired dinner party you are having. I am absolutely convinced that this bread pudding stepped up into the amazing category with two little improvements that catapulted it to glory. Yes glory.
Using one day old pumpkin bagel lying around in addition to the cubed bread, I believe, was an ingenious idea—If I do say so myself– and upgrading the milk to half and half probably didn’t hurt either, unless you count the fat and calories as collateral damage.
Add totally drunk out of their mind raisins, an old fashioned whiskey sauce and a touch of homemade whipped cream, and your guests will “oooh” and “ahhh” or they will just simply pass out at the dinner table from complete and utter Nirvana. As if that is not reason enough to dive head first into this recipe, it is seriously oh-so-simple to throw together so please, I beg of you, make this pumpkin bread pudding ASAP. You will not be sorry.
Oh, and for my very favorite gongoozler…that’s Sadie, my ever interested Golden Retriever. Do you know what a gongoozler is? I have my very curious daughter to thank for introducing me to the most awesome word of the century. She was web surfing on Dictionary.com (yes, smarties like her web surf on Dictionary.com as opposed to endless hours of youtubing…did you not know kids like her existed?) and found a contest in which users were voting for their favorite unusual word and guess what…there was gongoozler!
A gongoozler is someone who observes and stares for long periods of time but does not participate in something. For the thorough definition please click the link so you can be fully apprised of its history (quite interesting actually).
My Golden Retriever is more often than not found about two feet from me in the kitchen observing my every move, but not participating one iota, unless called upon to quickly devour a scrap off the floor.
For this photo op above, she was watching my husband stage my little dish of bread pudding. She was fascinated — or perhaps just hoping to pounce on it at the first sign of distraction. Luckily for me, my bread pudding made it out alive and the gongoozler, herself, stayed out of trouble.
Make this bread pudding, please, and keep any of your gongoozlers from sticking a finger or a tongue into your pudding before it is ready to serve.
—Oh and for the fellow chocoholics out there, add a few chocolate chips to half of the mixture if you like instead of the raisins and you will take your bread pudding in a totally different but totally wonderful chocolatey direction.
Legendary Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Martha Stewart with some of my own ingenious additions
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for ramekins
6 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup hot water
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
Left over bread (about a loaf –I used 1/4 a loaf of one left over loaf and 1/2 a loaf of another loaf I had) + 1 or 2 day old pumpkin bagels (Martha recommends 12 oz of day old Challah bread which would be absolutely wonderful but any day old bread you have lying around works perfectly well). The bread amount is not an exact science…a little too much or too little will be just fine.
Taken from Better Homes and Gardens
1/4 c. butter
1/2 d. granulated sugar
1 beaten egg yolk
2 T. water
2 T. whiskey/bourbon
As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention. I happened to have a day old pumpkin bagel and plain bagel sitting on my counter from my local bagel shop. I also had a quarter of a loaf of stale bakery country bread. What better to do with these now sorry excuse for carbs, then to bake them into a luscious pumpkin bread pudding?
I started with Martha Stewart’s recipe and re-created from there.
Start by setting your oven to 350 degrees and buttering six ramekins. If you don’t own ramekins, simply use a medium-sized casserole dish or a small-ish rectangular glass dish. Let’s not be choosy here; it’s the end result that counts. Then sprinkle each ramekin with about a tablespoon of dark brown sugar (light will work fine if that’s what you have) or sprinkle your casserole dish with 5 tablespoons of brown sugar. Tap your dishes and make sure they are adequately dusted in the brown sugar (just like flouring a cake pan!).
Next, soak your raisins in the bourbon. Let them sit in the bourbon, lapping it up for at least a half hour, getting them plump and drunken. Next, cut your breads into 3/4 inch cubes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, half and half, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Gently, stir in your bread, coating it entirely with the mixture. Fold in your raisins and equally disperse your bread mixture into the ramekins. Put all ramekins on a baking sheet to make it easier to put in and take out of the oven.
Alternately, divide bread mixture into two equal portions before adding the raisins. Add the raisins to one bowl and 3/4 c. of good quality chocolate chips to the other bowl. Then divide into the ramekins. Place all ramekins on a baking sheet before putting in the oven for ease of transportation.
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until egg mixture is solid and bread is slightly browned or golden. While the bread pudding is baking, prepare homemade whipped cream. Once the bread puddings are out of the oven, let them cool slightly while you make the whiskey sauce.
Make the whiskey sauce: In a small saucepan melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, egg yolk, and water. Cook and stir constantly over medium-low heat for 5 to 6 minutes or till sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Remove from heat and serve warm over the bread pudding, topping with a dollop of whipped cream.