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Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Recipes, Dessert

Chef Anthony Schulz’s pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce, a richer take on the classic bread pudding, is infused with sweetness and seasonal spices. It can complement a traditional holiday spread or stand as a statement on its own.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce | Serves 10–12

Chef’s Note: Chef Anthony Schulz suggests making the bread for this recipe the day before. The caramel sauce can be made while the pudding is baking. 

5 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups canned evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pumpkin bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (recipe below) 
3/4 cup raisins
Caramel sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray. In a separate bowl or standing mixer, beat eggs and sugar until pale in color. (You should be able to make a figure-eight with the whisk on top of the egg mixture: the “eight” will sit on top of the mixture for a few seconds before sinking in.) Gradually mix in the half-and-half, evaporated milk and vanilla. Combine the bread and raisins in baking pan. Pour the egg mixture over and mix gently. Bake pudding for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F, and spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine sugar and oil in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in water. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves. Stir into the egg mixture. Mix in the pumpkin and the pecans, and pour into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely. Can be made ahead of time, up to a couple of days.

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

In a stainless steel or copper saucepan, add the sugar and slowly add just enough water to make the sugar the consistency of wet sand. Be careful with the water, as you don’t want to splash the sugar onto the sides of the pan. (It will form crystals and turn the caramel into a rock.) Place pan over medium-high heat and let sit. Do not shake or touch the pan yet. When the sugar becomes golden brown remove from heat. (This will take about 5 to 7 minutes.) Carefully whisk the heavy cream into the sugar and then finish by adding the butter and fully whisking it in. Drizzle over the pudding.