This holiday season, I made, ate, and gave many, many loaves of gingerbread. This is the recipe I use, it’s from my Swedish great-great-grandmother Gerda. My grandmother Barb Anderson used to make it all the time, and my mom and aunt both remember having it as an after-school snack, served with butter or maybe a dollop of Cool Whip.
It’s one of those tried-and-true family recipes, now in its 5th generation. At least.
During my January 1st freezer clean-a-thon, I stumbled upon a few loaves that somehow squeaked by Christmas unscathed. Taking care to keep these little darlings from succumbing to freezer burn or an even worse, but more likely, fate -- being forgotten altogether, I set them out to defrost.
We had our share of enjoying them by-the-slice, so what to do now? A trifle? Grandma surely would have approved of that. But then the cold of winter and yearning for comfort food steered me to the obvious choice: pumpkin bread pudding.
Pumpkin Cranberry Gingerbread Bread Pudding with Cranberry Maple Syrup
- 4 cups cubed gingerbread
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup and 2 ½ tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
- 2 cups almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 eggs separated
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ cup fresh cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 and spray 8x8 pan with nonstick spray. Combine bread cubes, dried cranberries, and ⅓ cup pecans in pan. In large bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture, Pour pumpkin mixture over bread mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle 2 ½ tablespoons of pecans over the top. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until knife comes out clean. In microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, combine maple syrup and cranberries. Heat on high until cranberries pop -- about 2-3 minutes (watch so it doesn't boil over). Serve warm or cold bread pudding with warmed cranberry syrup.
MY KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
KitchenAid Hand Mixer
I started beating the eggs with a whisk by hand, then realized I could multi-task by whipping them up in a jiffy with this baby AND stir the custard mixture AT THE SAME TIME.
Pyrex 2-cup Measuring Cup
The cranberry maple syrup pretty much makes itself in this measuring cup. Just measure the syrup, add the cranberries, then nuke until the cranberries pop.
Vintage Pyrex Bowl
This is THE bowl I use for everything. It was handed down to me from my mom -- she got it in 1967. It's the right size for everything and it has handy pour spouts on each side. Don't put it in the microwave though, or those roosters will start to spark (not that I know from experience...)