I’m going to go ahead and call this “breakfast.” It’s definitely a dessert, or, more like a snack. I just really want to eat bread pudding in the morning. I don’t. But I want to. I don’t not have pumpkin bread pudding for breakfast because I’m sitting down to a hearty, warm wooden bowl of farro, kasha, quinoa, organic diced apples and Vietnamese cinnamon with a coconut milk, kale, and banana smoothie and a mug of peppermint tea, which I enjoy while looking out a sunny window and recalling lines from Wordsworth. I don’t eat bread pudding for breakfast because I am usually hauling Violet into the Jeep with a squeeze pouch of baby food and a string cheese, then pilfering her stash of veggie puffs from the diaper bag and washing them down with a Drive-Thru iced coffee so we can get to music class or the gym or play school.
But if I were you, or a slightly better version of myself, I would make this late and serve it early. Throw it together while you’re tidying up the kitchen with the lights low, after the kids are in bed, while you have a glass of wine which you take with you to the bath. Pop it in the refrigerator and bake it in the morning with the space heater on, with the dog keeping your feet warm because she ate your slippers, with Carson Daly looking like the ghost of Guy Smiley on The Today show.
Your family will love you; long after you are gone, they will remember you as whimsical and indulging. They will not wind up in therapy and write tell-all memoirs about your boozing and philandering ways. It’s just that simple. This recipe is the key to your peaceful eternity.
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 10 cups egg bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Caramel sauce, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a deep baking dish with butter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together everything but the bread. Then, toss bread cubes in batter. Gently pour into prepared baking dish, and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Bake 35-40 minutes. Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm.
A note about caramel sauce: You can certainly make your own, but this whole endeavor was inspired by a jar of cajeta, which is a Mexican caramel sauce, that I bought at Maine Street Meats.