Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you're having a great day - or had a great day, if you're reading this after Turkey day. Its only 10 am and I've been cooking since 7:30. Let us not forget to be thankful for our dinner bounty, and to happy to share it with family.
For today's dinner, I made as much as I could yesterday, but there's still a lot to be done the day of. My daughter is helping a lot, thank goodness. Helpers are so nice to have around! This post, though, was one I wrote up a day or so ago - we're having pumpkin pie today. My very favorite pie in the world. Because we have so many pumpkin pie lovers in our family, we're having 3 pumpkin and one apple, and likely they'll all be gone by the end of the day, or at the latest tomorrow morning.
Probably I've mentioned before that I'm an inveterate recipe collector. Clippings from all the magazines I subscribe to (at the moment those are: Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Sunset and Southern Living), notes from a restaurant meal, emailed from friends, found on the internet, and now, with food blogs, I have a whole new source of recipes. If I cooked 3 meals a day, with 4-5 recipes per meal, I still wouldn't run out of new recipes for the rest of my life, just of the ones I have in my to-try collection. I'm really trying to be more circumspect about what I clip and print out. But, it's very hard because so many things sound so wonderful.
Because I subscribe to a lot of food blogs through google reader (if you've looked at the list down my right column you'll understand what I'm saying), I have a lot of reading to do. Not only do I like to support the other food bloggers out there by reading what they have to say, but you just never know what you're going to find. After I've been away for a few short days, my google reader box is full. You can imagine that when I finally got around to looking yesterday, after 3 1/2 weeks, it says I had 997 blogs to read. Oh my. That's almost overwhelming. And yet, what if I miss some fantastic recipe? So, I'm trying to read it gradually, maybe 15-20 minutes at a time. I've already printed out 4 recipes and I'm only down to the C's (google gives them to me in alpha order). So, the task ahead of me is huge. Daunting. But I'll keep slogging through it.
So, when I saw the title of this blog posting, I was hooked, since I love all-things-pumpkin. The blogger Sassy Radish, was guest hosting at the Accidental Hedonist, and wrote up a nice list of her favorite Thanksgiving menu items, among them, this dessert. Read her original posting about this recipe here. Its origin is Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco, a hugely popular restaurant in the Ferry Building, a place I'd love to visit. You can also find the recipe on Epicurious with the title of Pumpkin Souffle/Bread Pudding.
This isn't pumpkin pie. Naturally, with the main ingredient of bread, it's a different texture. The challah is a soft bread, just slightly sweet. And not something I'd ever purchased before, but figuring it was an important item, I sought it out. Finally found it at Trader Joe's, thank goodness.
Very little sugar is added, surprisingly, to the bread pudding. The pumpkin custard mixed with whipped-up egg whites provides a subtle pumpkin flavor. It's lighter, though, than most bread puddings because of the addition of whipped egg whites. I like that part. With a big dollop of whipped cream on top, yum. If and when I make this again, I think I'll add more spices (just because I can, and I like more of those pumpkin pie type spices anyway) and I'll add more pumpkin. Hopefully the custard will hold with 4 egg yolks. I made a double batch, and because I don't have enough custard cups, I made it in a 9 x 13 pan, which is what Sassy Radish did also. I baked the dish 10 minutes longer because of that. And having made this several days ago, I'll tell you that I think this tastes better after it sits overnight - so this might make a great do-ahead dessert.
Pumpkin Bread Pudding Souffle
Recipe: Chef Charles Phan's recipe, via Sassy Radish, via Accidental Hedonist
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces bread -- challah, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
3 1/2 ounces butter -- (7 tablespoons)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Pinch cloves
1 Pinch nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
1 cup pumpkin purée -- at room temperature
2 whole egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer over low heat. Place challah cubes in bowl. Remove milk mixture from heat and pour half of the liquid over the challah.
3. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and egg yolks, beating well. Add pumpkin purée and the other half of the heated cream and milk.
4. Fold the soaked challah into the pumpkin mixture. Beat the egg whites and sugar until they form stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter. Butter and sugar 8 three-inch ramekins, then divide batter evenly among ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until knife comes out clean. Baked desserts can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then heated in the oven wrapped in foil or microwaved until warm.
Per Serving: 363 Calories; 26g Fat (63.3% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 179mg Cholesterol; 454mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a PDF recipe, click title at top.