Dear Catherine —
Who would’ve thought that you’d be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary grading papers? Or watching our baby girl’s very last high school marching band performance?
I never would have guessed that all these together years would be celebrated over Dairy Queen soft serve. Neither could I have predicted that, on our 22nd November 4th as husband and wife, we’d be rushing home from a high school football game … to go to sleep on an RV mattress.
Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re working God’s plan, after all. And you’re so good at it!
I’m lucky that you’re my lover. And extremely blessed that you love me back. I’m proud of you always, and I beam at having you by my side.
So, how does one segue from a love letter to a really nifty recipe for bread pudding? Honestly, there’s no good way. Still, my bride — a bonafide bread addict — loves the ooey gooey fall flavor of this easy recipe. So do I … along with everyone else we’ve served it to.
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Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/ Apple Cider Caramel
- 1 cup - Heavy cream
- 1 cup – Pumpkin (canned is fine)
- ¾ cup – Milk
- ½ cup – Sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
- 2 TB – Pumpkin pie spice
- 4½ cups – Day-old baguette or crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes*
- ¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup – Chopped pecans
- 1 cup - Apple cider
- 1 cup – Light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup – Butter
- ¼ cup – Heavy cream
- Whisk cream, pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
- Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl; add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat.
- Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. (Make the caramel while the bread pudding is baking.)
- Top with pecans and bake until custard is set, another 5 minutes, or so.
- Cook cider in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until reduced to ¼ cup.
- Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and serve warm over hot bread pudding. (If you make it in advance, reheat in the microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.)
** - From the Sept. 2013 issue of Southern Living