Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? I was recently asked by the folks at Good Cook to come up with an original recipe that used pumpkin as one of the ingredients. To assist me with my creation, I was sent a Good Cook Pumpkin Scoop (available at Walmart stores), along with an assortment of Good Cook Bakeware.
What to make? What to make? While I love all things pumpkin, I rarely cook with fresh pumpkin, as I have found it takes too long to make a homemade pumpkin puree. And, when I have a hankering for pumpkin, it is usually not in season, or they are no longer selling pumpkins after Halloween. I had all good intentions to use one of the carving pumpkins we never got around to carving for Halloween, but when my husband took it in the house over the weekend, I found that it had gotten soft. Luckily, as a back up, I always keep cans of pumpkin puree in the pantry for pies, breads, pancakes, etc. While I didn't actually use the carving pumpkin to make a homemade puree, I did try out the Good Cook Pumpkin Scoop, and have to say that I was impressed.
In years past, I would have used the largest metal spoon or even ice cream scoop I could find in the drawer, to scoop out the seeds and fibrous hairs inside the pumpkin cavity, before cutting it up into chunks and boiling in water on the stove top until soft. Once soft, the tedious part would begin...adding the soften pumpkin to a food processor before pushing through cheese cloth, or letting the excess liquid drain out for about an 1 hr. before pushing through the double layer cheesecloth sieve, to make a homemade pumpkin puree. From reading various cookbooks and cooking magazines, I have found that a store-bought 15 oz. can of canned pumpkin is the equivalent to a 3-pound pie pumpkin. Most recipes call for 2 cups or more of canned pumpkin, so you will either have to buy two cans of pumpkin (or find the large canned pumpkin cans in the grocery store), or cook and drain a 3 1/2 lb. pie pumpkin or 6 lb. carving pumpkin to give you enough pumpkin puree to use. Note that if you make homemade pumpkin puree, it usually last sealed in an air tight container for about 3 days in the refrigerator, or frozen for about 6 months. In the past, I would stock up on pie pumpkins in early September to make and freeze homemade pumpkin puree, to use in my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and bread recipes. But, since having the girls, my canning and homemade puree making has been put on the back burner. Instead, I have found the cans to not only be convenient, but readily available all year round, making my cravings for all things pumpkin possible. :-)
I kept bouncing ideas off of my husband of what I could make with pumpkin puree. I thought about making pumpkin flavored rice krispie treats, pumpkin funnel cakes, a pumpkin lavender bread, or a pumpkin bisque soup to enjoy one of these cold New England nights. Lately, I have found myself experimenting with new breakfast dish recipes, in hopes to get the girls to eat more than just eggs and bacon or yogurt and fresh cut fruit. The other day, I shared a blueberry pancake with a ricotta and maple syrup recipe, which I used the Good Cook Whoopie Pie pan for. If you missed my post/recipe, click here to read it now -- http://www.inspiredbysavannah.com/2013/11/blueberry-whoopie-pie-pancakes-with.html.
So, staying with the breakfast theme, I decided to try my hand at a pumpkin bread pudding. Here is what it looked like when it came out of the oven this AM:
When using canned pumpkin, this recipe is easy to whip together, and really makes the house smell great, as it cooks. You can serve this for breakfast, or even as a dessert. Here it the recipe, in case you wan to give it a try:
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Warm up bellies on a cold winter morning, with a freshly baked pumpkin bread pudding. The aroma of the bread pudding cooking makes the house smell wonderful.
Serves Cook Time Total Time Prep Time 6-8 40-50 minutes 55 min. 15 min.
- 8-10 eggs (10 eggs if using thick cubes of bread)
- 1 1/2 C whole milk
- 1 15. oz. can of canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground gloves
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 3 TBSP. butter (cut into cubes)
- 1 1/2 TBSP. sugar
- 1 loaf of day old french bread (cubed) or 8 slices of thick Texas toast or Italian bread
- Whipped Cream
- Maple Syrup
- Powdered Sugar (optional)
- Honey (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray either a 9x13 inch pan or large casserole dish with cooking spray. Then, add cubes bread to prepared pan.
- Whisk eggs and milk together in large bowl. Then, add one at a time the dry spice ingredients, followed by the canned pumpkin and walnuts (optional). Note: Only use 1 tsp. of cinnamon for this step.
- Once combined, pour pumpkin mixture over cubed bread. Mix to moisten all bread completely. Cubes should be moist on both sides.
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Then, top mixture with cubes of butter evenly placed over cubed bread.
- Put foil over the top and bake in oven for 30-35 min. The last 5-10 minutes, take foil off and let top of bread brown lightly.
- Take out of oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream, maple syrup, powdered sugar, honey, or even caramelized bananas (butter, sugar and bananas).
What a way to start the day and week. :-) Not only were my husband and girls surprised I had made bread pudding, but they loved how I incorporated pumpkin into it, as I usually keep it simple when it comes to making french toast. I wish I had walnuts or even pecans to add to the bread pudding, as it would have given it a nice crunch. I made a note to add nuts the next time I make it -- which my family hopes is sometime soon. :-) Now, to think about what other breakfast dishes I can come up with, or maybe try making pumpkin rice krispies or a pumpkin lavender bread with a homemade pumpkin butter. Mmm, I am getting hungry just thinking about the pumpkin possibilities.
I would love to hear what recipes you make with either homemade pumpkin puree, or canned pumpkin. So, leave a comment below with links to recipes, ideas for a unique pumpkin inspired recipe, etc.
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