There’s something about fall and pumpkin. If you’ve been around the blogging world much over the last month or so something seems to have possessed all the bloggers to make every dish imaginable with pumpkin. It was practically a Pumpkin Mania. I blame the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s ruined a whole nation (including myself).
But as I’m sure you have figured out…us Meyer’s are pretty much obsessed with originality. We love things that are weird and unique and just….us. And we tend to fight back pretty bitterly at the trends that fly around or try to tweak them to make them reflect our personalities (Eyebrow Party anyone?).
This recipe has been primed and ready to go for well over a month but I just couldn’t bring myself to join in on the pumpkin assault that was taking over your inbox. Plus in Georgia fall doesn’t really start until the middle of October so it felt weird before.
Now as the leaves are turning and we woke up to a rainy cloudy day….it feels right.
As far as I can tell on the web this is an absolute unique recipe idea. It was spawned out of a desperate attempt to use up the Pumpkin Brioche I had leftover from the Pumpkin Pie Doughnuts we made and get dinner on the table ASAP. I’ve been trying to break out of my pizza, pasta and taco’s mold and whip up some things that Kevin has mentioned that he loves.
One of those things is bread pudding. And somehow when the thought of bacon and pumpkin and sage came together in my mind I knew I had stumbled upon something epic. This dish is perfect for a beautiful brunch or a classy unexpected twist on dinner. Serve it sweet with syrup to blow away your guests or turn it super savory with gravy and a salad.
Start with two loaves of Pumpkin Brioche. Cube em up and toss them in a big bowl.
Pull a handful of fresh sage out of your garden or window box (are you still going to the store for fresh herbs?!? stop it right now!! Please buy some potted herbs as soon as physically possible.)
Chop them up roughly. Breathe in their delicious musty aroma. Have visions of turkeys being stuffed and cooking all day long.
Cook up your bacon….you could use a half a package of bacon and feel good about your diet. Or you could cook the whole package and bask in the glory of flavor. Your choice of course.
Chop an onion and throw the butter, garlic and sage in with it all into a hot pan.
If you are massively crunched for time you can cook the bacon, and everything else all at once. But then you have to fish the bacon out of the craziness which could result in burnt fingertips. Not that I know that from experience or anything…
Chop up that bacon and set it aside.
Grate some cheese. For the love of all things holy please buy some good cheese. This isn’t the time for powdered Parmesan, this is magic in the making.
Mix in the cheese with milk, eggs and spices. Heavy on the black pepper, a dash of salt, and a few dashes of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
Breathe it in. It’s fall in a bowl baby.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread cubes allowing them to soak up all the goodness. Depending on your loaf sizes you may need more milk mixture than you start with. All the bread should be moistened.
Decisions, decisions. You must now make one. To add the bacon to the pudding mixture and the top….just the top….or just the pudding?
It’s your call. Think of it like a choose your own ending story book…..only don’t think so hard…all choices lead to delicious. We did half inside and half on top.
Whatever you choose get that onion mixture added in your bowl and stir it in.
Pour into loaf pans and top with plenty of cheese and bacon and if you are feeling super fancy some crispy sage leaves.
Loaf pans give a taller more moist pudding texture, we cooked ours in a pyrex 9×11 pan and it was a bit dry because it was so shallow. Make sure all your bread is moistened well!
Bake for 30 min or until center is set. Top with fresh or crispy sage leaves and serve piping hot.
2-3 loaf pans
2 loaves HBin5 Pumpkin Brioche
1/2 to full package of bacon (your choice)
1 large onion
2-3 tb minced garlic
1/2 stick of butter
4 cups milk
4-5 eggs (add more if you like your bread pudding more eggy)
1 cup parmesan cheese, divided in 2
salt and pepper
dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
Syrup or Brown or White Pepper Gravy
- Cube the bread loaves. Place in large mixing bowl.
- Cook bacon until crispy and remove to cutting board.
- Melt butter in bacon fat and cook onion, garlic and sage until sage is crispy and onions translucent.
- Mix milk, eggs, half of cheese and spices together.
- Pour over bread mixture. Mix well making sure all milk is absorbed. If the bread still looks dry increase your milk/egg/cheese combination until the bread is all moistened. Pressing into milk with hands together lightly can help in absorption.
- Chop bacon. You can either add bacon into onion mixture at this point or reserve some or all of it for topping.
- Once bread is moistened add onion mixture and stir well to incorporate.
- Fill bread loaf pans with mixture. (Pyrex dishes work but are really too shallow to get a nice tall bread pudding and they tend to dry out more than desired.)
- Top with reserved bacon if desired and plenty of cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until center is set.
- Serve with syrup or a brown or white pepper gravy
I speculate that this could also be turned dessert with a cream cheese or comparable glaze. If you try it let me know!