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Que the meme!

imagesIt’s the time of year for pumpkin flavored everything: pumpkin bread, pumpkin mocha-frappa-lattes, pumpkin scented candles…  I swear, if someone sold pumpkin flavored dog turds they would make a mint in late September.

I too have been bitten by the Fall time bug, and I’m craving cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, hard.  I think this little bread pudding really hits the spot, and it’s a low-fat, relatively healthy dessert!

Except when you add ice cream... So good.

Except when you add ice cream… So good.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Serves 6 – 8 – cost approx $.42 per serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 loaf sandwich bread, day old or stale bread works best ($1 – I actually got this for free, be nice to the guy who delivers bread and you get the occasional day-old loaf!)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk  ($.28)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ($.25, home made and canned from last year’s pumpkin guts)
  • 2 eggs ($.25)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ($.15)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • splash vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar ($.50)
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup ($.25)
  • water, as needed
  • 1/2 cup milk  ($.10)

Cube up the bread 1 inch pieces and let sit out overnight to stale up a bit.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 F.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in the first set in a sauce pot.  Set over medium heat cook for about 5 minutes, whisking regularly.  You want to gently heat the mix so that you temper the eggs and don’t scramble them.  The custard mix should be heated to about 160 F, or until it feels like an uncomfortably hot bath when you stick your finger in it (redneck thermometer, for the win!); the mix shouldn’t boil and should thicken up slightly.

Pour the pumpkin custard over the cubed bread and gently mix until it’s all absorbed.  Pour into a loaf pan and bake 45 min -1 hour, or until the top is slightly browned.

For the caramel sauce: [Note * I am rubbish at making caramel sauce, your should probably look up some other recipes for reference.  Today was a lucky fluke that my second attempt worked out well.*]  Mix up the sugar with a tablespoon or so of water in a small sauce pan.  Mix, adding water if necessary, until the mix feels like wet sand.  Add in the corn syrup.  Boil until the color changes to a rich caramel color, about 5-10 minutes.  Stand back and stir in the milk, it will sputter and bubble somewhat violently.  Stir to mix, let cool a bit and then drizzle over the bread pudding or whatever you like, because you’ll probably have some extra for your ice cream, coffee, licking off a spoon…

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