Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Pumpkin Bread Pudding
with Caramelized Apples and Pears,
and Amaretto Crème Anglaise

Serves 6-8



1 loaf egg bread (brioche)

For Custard:
1/3 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin purée (you can use roasted pumpkin
   or canned pumpkin but make sure to
   use canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For Crème Anglaise:
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp Amaretto

For Pears and Apples:
3 tbsp butter
5 firm ripe, Bosc pears,
   peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 Granny Smith apples,
   peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-2 inch round cake pan. Line cake pan with a round of wax paper and butter wax paper.

Cut enough 1/4-inch-thick slices from loaf to line side of cake pan, trimming slices so that tops are flush with rim of pan. Gently press slices against side of cake pan to make them adhere. Cut enough of remaining loaf, including scraps, into 1/2-inch pieces to measure 5 cups and put in bottom of cake pan.

Prepare custard:
In a heavy saucepan bring ginger, sugar, and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer 5 minutes. Add milk and cream and bring just to a simmer. Remove pan from heat.

In a heatproof bowl whisk together whole eggs and yolks and add hot milk mixture in a stream, whisking. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour custard through a fine sieve onto bread pieces in bottom of cake pan, pressing hard on ginger, and coat pieces well (bread pieces will float to surface of custard).

Put cake pan in a larger pan and add enough water to larger pan to reach half-way up side of cake pan. Bake pudding in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until custard is set and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake pan from larger pan and cool pudding on a rack. Chill pudding, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

To unmold pudding, run a thin knife around edge of cake pan and dip pan into a bowl of hot water 15 seconds. Invert a large plate over cake pan and invert pudding onto plate. Peel off wax paper and invert pudding right side up onto another large plate. Cut into wedges. (if reheating pudding to warm, transfer wedges to a baking sheet and reheat in a 325 degree F oven.)

Meanwhile, make Crème Anglaise:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together eggs, sugar and cinnamon until thick and pale. In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt butter and stir in egg mixture. Cook sauce, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from pan and stir in cream, vanilla and Amaretto.

Just before serving, prepare pears and apples:
Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet until melted and sizzling. Add pears and apples and sprinkle with sugar. Cook until pears are golden brown.

Serve pudding warm with sautéed fruit and Crème Anglaise.


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This page created October 1999