A friend was raving about Daily Candy’s recipe they sent out in December from 1789 pastry chef Travis Olson. In case you didn’t get the email, here’s the recipe that serves 8-10.
It is easy to make, but make sure to follow the directions! There are a lot more directions than I usually care to follow, but it was worth it. The result? Wow. It really was amazing. It’s sweet, rich, and full of pumpkin and spice flavors. It’d be perfect topped with ice cream or whipped cream.
- 1 loaf challah bread, with crusts discarded (I made my own challah bread, but definitely can use store-bought!)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 c. light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. whole milk (I used 2% and it worked, but it wasn’t as creamy as I’m sure it would have been if I used whole)
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cut bread into ½-inch cubes.
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and then evenly sprinkle the mixture over the bread cubes.
Toss the seasoned bread cubes with butter and then spread the cubes on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for about twelve minutes, until just golden.
- Reduce heat to 325° and place an empty two-quart baking dish inside to warm.
- Add the granulated sugar to a small sauce pot. Whisk in about half of a cup of water until it makes a pourable consistency. Boil without stirring until the mixture turns amber, about twelve minutes.
- Remove the warmed dish from the oven and coat the bottom with a thin layer of the caramel mixture. (There may be leftover caramel, which you can save and use as ice cream topping.)
- For the custard, add the pumpkin to a mixing bowl and whisk in the remaining ingredients, one at a time in the order listed.
- Add the toasted bread to the baking dish and pour the custard on top. Press down on the bread (yes, with your hands) to help it soak up the custard like a sponge, cover, and let sit up to an hour.
- Return the dish to the oven at 325° and bake until puffy and no liquid appears when pressed, about 45 minutes.
- Enjoy warm with ice cream.