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Pumpkin Bread Pudding a fabulous variation on pie

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Thanksgiving isn't just about the turkey. At least it isn't for those of us who love desserts, especially this Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.


Bread pudding calls for chunks of bread, eggs, milk or cream and optional ingredients such as raisins or nuts. This particular recipe calls for half-and-half, pumpkin and a hard-crusted bread. We allowed the bread pudding to rest for about 20 minutes while we made the Cinnamon Whipped Cream. We have tested, tasted and recommended other bread puddings, but this one is exceptional. It's like eating a creamy pumpkin pie without the crust. The finishing touch to this dessert is the freshly whipped cream with a touch of cinnamon. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon of Grand Marnier gave the whipped cream a subtle but exciting kick.

Thanks to Leona Puz of Ellwood City who requested this recipe and Joyce McCarter of Whitehall who answered the request. We now have a new dessert to add to our Thanksgiving dessert tables.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 2 1/4 cups half-and-half

  • 2 cups pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar (we used the light)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 cups 1/2-inch bread cubes, see note
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.

Fold in the bread cubes, then fold in the raisins. Pour bread pudding into a 9-by-12-inch glass dish. Let the pudding stand for about 15 minutes. Bake until tester comes out clean (about 30 minutes).

Note: We used Italian, but French would work just as well.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Grand Marnier, optional

    Whip the cream. Stir in the powdered sugar, cinnamon and Grand Marnier. Place a dollop of whipped cream on each serving of the pumpkin bread pudding.


    Barb Pollack Firda of McKeesport writes: "I am in the planning stages of organizing my daughter's wedding and right now I am focusing toward the cookie table. Does anyone have any suggestions for cookies that are "must haves"? I'm also interested in a strawberry cookie. The cookie looks like a real strawberry. I believe it is made from a coconut mixture."

    A request from Stephanie Gross of Mashpee, Mass.: "I found an article called "Eat with caution: Recipes for an allergy." In it, the author talks of a (then) 18-year-old girl who has a severe allergy to milk. The article mentioned a milkless pumpkin pie recipe but the recipes that followed did not include it. I, too, have family members with this same allergy and would like very much to make them a pumpkin pie so they won't feel left out of the celebration at Thanksgiving. Do you have this recipe? If not, where can I go to get it? Or how can I adapt a recipe so that I don't use the milk and cream usually found in such recipes?"

    Editor's note: We recommend substituting soymilk in pumpkin pie recipes calling for milk. Soymilk is now found in most grocieries, but we don't consider the soybean vegetable "milk" a substitution for evaporated milk, which is richer and more concentrated than whole cow's milk.

    If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail toaburnett@post-gazette.com . Please include a name, neighborhood/-city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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