FALL IS HERE and even though it was a balmy 80 degrees and humid in NYC today, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate autumn in all of its culinary glory!
If there is one food that I love more than anything in the world, it is pumpkin. I love it in any and all form (just not as a latte from Starbucks!) — AND I even love some of it’s less celebrated winter squash cousins: the butternut, the acorn, even the kabocha squash!
Bring them on. I will eat them with glee.
But people, I am here for the gourds.
So I can confidently say with authority, that I can cook a mean pumpkin.
And nothing showcases it better than my (familialy) infamous Pumpkin Bread Pudding!
And friends, when I say this is a showstopper, I mean — grab your helmet and elbow pads, because you are going to be fighting tooth and nail over who gets the biggest piece.
I love to make this for my family for breakfast on Thanksgiving or Christmas (or a particularly decadent winter brunch), but it could also be dessert too!
And here’s the secret: it’s actually pretty doggone healthy!
It’s made with gluten and dairy free ingredients, and can easily be made sugar-free by subbing agave or honey for the sugar in the recipe!
Pumpkin and Coconut are teaming up to bring you the best autumnal goodness you’ve ever had!
Here’s what you need: (Serves 6 hungry people)
1 loaf (14 slices) or Udi’s Gluten Free Bread — (NOT sponsored, just a fan!) You could also use a gluten-full loaf of bread if desired.
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 can of pure pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut milk
coconut milk (for extra decadence, do NOT shake the can, and skim off the fluffy cream from the top – that is seriously life changing)
sprinkle of cinnamon
Electric Hand Mixer
Medium sized bowl
Deep Casserole dish
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per side, until the bread is dry and toasty.
Turn up the oven to 350.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices together. Then, stir in the pumpkin and coconut milk. (This can all be done the night before, and refrigerated overnight!)
About 2 hours before you plan on eating, assemble and bake the bread pudding.
Thoroughly spray a deep casserole dish with coconut oil spray. Spread a layer of the custard mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Break the toast slices in half, and arrange in a shingle pattern in the casserole dish, like so.
Then, shoot the custard over the toast shingles until everything is thoroughly smothered in the custard.
Let the dish sit for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the bread to absorb the custard. (If you let it absorb and soak overnight, the gluten free bread will become gummy.)
Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour/15 minutes, until the custard sets. Rotate the pan if any dark spots develop.
Before you serve, mix some coconut milk with a dash of cinnamon. You can also add some honey, stevia, or sugar if desired, to taste. (If you want extra decadence, open up an UNSHAKEN can of full fat coconut milk and skim off the solid cream on top. You can whip this like whipped cream with a touch of sweetener. It is heavenly.)
Also, chop some pecans or other nut of choice for a garnish.
Serve warm, and liberally drizzle with the coconut milk.
OK you guys. This was a winner!!
To be completely transparent, I could not eat this, because there are ingredients in the gluten free bread that aren’t on the Specific Carb Diet, which I religiously follow to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission. BUT it gave me so much joy to prepare a dish that my family loved. And boy did they love it! My entire family (G-Free’ers AND Gluten-Full’ers alike) polished it off!
I can attest to the custard and WOW the flavor was amazing. Rich, creamy, and perfectly sweet — not too sweet, but juuuust right!
And the texture was spot on: The bread was wonderfully spongy and light. Gluten free bread can become notoriously gummy or gelatinous when soaked for casseroles or bread puddings. But the trick is to really dry it out, and then soak it shortly RIGHT BEFORE you cook and eat it.
My sister-in-law said that it tasted so light, yet decadent. “Light, airy, comforting and warm, with soft palate flavors — not overwhelming at all. SO GOOD!” And that’s coming from a woman who’s NOT gluten free!
And my dad (also not gluten free) loved the coconut drizzle. He said it made the dish so luxurious and moist. I think he had three helpings! 😉 haha
So there you have it, folks. The proof is in the pudding! 🙂
What are some of your fall favorite meals or treats?!
It’s hard to believe that Halloween is right around the corner!
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