Butter (to coat baking dish)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
10 oz. egg bread or croissants – about 6 cups (nearly any leftover bread would work here but these are really delicious in this recipe)
1 cup crushed walnuts or pecans
1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin (or about 1 lb. roasted pumpkin flesh – squash can be used as a substitute)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (Optional)
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. vanilla
Note: I sometimes add 1/2 tsp of ground pumpkin pie spice to this as well.
Instructions: Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Mix together whipping cream and milk in a bowl and add in the bread and nuts. Press down gently so that the bread is covered with the milk mixture and let this soak in while fixing the rest of the recipe. In the top of a double-boiler, mix together the eggs, yolk, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, dried fruits (if using), melted butter, spice, and vanilla. Place the top pan onto the bottom of the double-boiler (with water in it) that has been heated to medium heat. Stir constantly. When the mixture has warmed through completely and the sugars have thoroughly dissolved, remove from heat and pour over the bread mixture. Put the bread pudding into the greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45-55 minutes until set.