Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie-Croissant Pudding brings
the creation of bread pudding into my life

Until recently, I’d never made bread pudding because there wasn’t a recipe for it that caught my attention or imagination.
   It’s not that I strive to find wacky recipes -- far from it. It’s hard to describe, but a recipe has to entice me to try it. Something about the recipe needs to reach out and stroke the part of my brain that says, “try me, you’ll love me.”
   When I saw Pumpkin Pie-Croissant Pudding (click for the recipe) in Food & Wine magazine, I knew my day to make bread pudding had arrived.
   With the use of croissants rather than bread, and the addition of pumpkin pie filling to turn the dessert into a creation meant completely for autumn, this recipe drew me in immediately.
   The recipe was developed by two Canadians, David McMillan and Frederic Morin of the restaurant Joe Beef in Montreal, so that piqued my interest even more.
   It also looked extremely easy to make, which is always a major criteria for me when deciding whether or not to try a recipe.
   I was right about that – it was extremely easy to make.
   And it was extremely good.
   I think its deliciousness will impress anyone who likes bread pudding, or even dessert for that matter! It has a lovely aroma, too.
   A couple of my recommendations: 1) The recipe says to serve the pudding with vanilla ice cream, but my husband and I agreed the ice cream is not needed – the pudding is absolutely terrific on its own. 2)The recipe says to let the pudding cool to warm and then serve. I found it better to let the pudding completely cool and solidify, then scoop out a serving and microwave it for about 30 seconds before eating.
   The pudding will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
   I used the recipe’s recommendation of tenting the pudding with foil if the top starts to brown too quickly when baking, but I put foil overtop even earlier than that, about 20 minutes into baking time.
   To make the pudding, raisins are put in a bowl and covered with rye whiskey. Croissants cut into two-inch pieces (I just tore them up) are spread on a baking sheet and toasted until golden brown. The recipe says this will take about 10 minutes, but I found it took only five minutes.
   Pumpkin pie filling, heavy cream (I used whipping cream), milk, eggs, sugar and salt are whisked together.
   In a 9” x 13” buttered baking dish (I used a glass dish), the torn croissants are tossed with the raisins and whiskey. The pumpkin mixture is poured on top and pressed with the back of a spoon until most of the croissants are moistened.
   The pudding is baked for about 40 minutes, and is tented with foil if the top starts to brown too quickly. (That means you'll need to check it at some point during baking time!)

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