5 cups (1.2 l) day-old bread, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1/2 cup (55 grams) coarsely chopped pecans
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (170 grams) canned pure pumpkin puree (no spices added)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) half & half, milk, light cream, heavy cream (or a combination of milk and cream)
4 tbsp (55 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup (105 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (105 grams) packed dark brown sugar
4 tbsp (55 grams) butter
1/4 cup (55 grams) heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon rum, bourbon or whiskey
1. Pumpkin Bread Pudding: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and place rack in the center of the oven. You will need an 8 x 2 inch (20 x 5 cm) square baking pan.
2. Custard: In an large bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, cream and/or milk, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, spices, and salt. Add the bread cubes and pecans and toss to coat, making sure all the bread cubes are coated with the custard.
3. Transfer the bread pudding to your pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
4. I like to serve the bread pudding warm with the Toffee Sauce. You could also serve it with a sprinkling of chopped pecans and a dollop of softly whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla, cinnamon or pumpkin ice cream. Leftovers can be covered, stored in the refrigerator, and then reheated in the microwave.
5. Toffee Sauce: Place the butter, sugar, and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture gently boil for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. You can make this sauce in advance and simply reheat.