By way of wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, let me share the recipe for a bread pudding that you might want to include in your repertoire.
Notes: This recipe makes a half hotel pan (11.5"L x 9.75"W x 2.25"D). Actually, I only ever make full hotel pans, but this is as close as I can scale this for home use. For bread, I use 7 of the 4-ounce demi-baguettes that we use for table service. We grind all our spices fresh at the restaurant so they are very pungent. You may need to increase the quantity of spices if you are using preground spices. As with all recipes, season to taste.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding
28 ounces hearty white bread, cubed
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups pecan halves
8 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 and 1/2 quarts heavy cream
Preheat your oven to slow, 300-350F. Coat your pan with pan spray (not necessary, but it makes clean up a lot easier). Mix the bread cubes, chips, and pecans and place in the pan. Mix all the remaining ingredients save the cream, then when well mixed, add the cream and stir. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Pour the custard over the bread and press the bread down into the custard. Place the pudding on a sheet tray and cook until not quite set in the center. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving. The top will probably brown before the center is set. Once browned, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake. My puddings generally cook for the final thirty minutes under foil. Cook time varies (there's no thermostat on my oven) but it takes about two hours total.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and from all of the staff here at the restaurant, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!