Okay, so I guess I slowly climbed on the pumpkin band wagon. It’s not the pumpkin flavored coffees at Starbucks. I can’t stand flavors in my morning coffee…too much like candy and certainly not enough kick. Nor is it the stand of cinnamon brooms whose scent assaults my olfactory system like a WWII blitzkrieg the moment I step foot in Publix. No. It was something as simple as two girl’s weekends, both with girls from college, one was sorority sisters and the other girls that I love. It got me to thinking about college days. And Fall. I went to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where we had seasons. That’s where I saw leaves change color for the first time. I thought how I walked across the beautiful southern campus; orange, yellow and red leaves bouncing and spinning on gusts of wind as if doing cartwheels. Kind of like sorority sister Anne B. who, drunk and making her way across campus late one night, fell on her face in the middle of a cart-wheel and knocked out her big front tooth. The whole thing. Yup. Serves her right, though. She was never particularly nice to me plus she had borrowed a very expensive pair of gold earrings and when she finally returned them to me one had been completely destroyed. Apparently she had stepped on it. But she was very, very sorry. Anyway, where ever she is, she’s running around with a fake front tooth. Those Autumn nights were chilly for us Florida girls. In my mind’s eye I can see the wool plaid tweed car coat Daddy had special ordered for me. A soft, tobacco brown with ebony black and pumpkin gold flecks. It was sumptuous and luxurious. Striding across campus to get to class on time, I’d turn the collar up and dig my hands deep into my pockets to stay warm. In the dorm it was cozyand comfortable and on weekends music would spill out of our rooms into the halls as we got ready for our dates and went from room to room sharing cocktails before we went out. Those were the days of albums and turntables. We listened to everything! Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Marshall Tucker, Allman Brothers, the Eagles, Grinderswitch, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Wet Willie had us singing and dancing like you wouldn’t even believe. That was our kind of finger poppin’ music. As I walked out of my dorm with girlfriends or on a date with my boyfriend, you could almost touch the excitement in the darkness, the sensation of anticipation in the frosty, brittle darkness. Our eyes sparkled from the cold as we laughed, chatted and guzzled booze in the chilly night air. Fraternity parties were held outdoors on the patio of the lodges. Mammoth speakers were set up inside and out, as were the kegs and garbage cans filled with grain punch. More Atlanta Rythym Section, Doobie Brothers and Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Boston. Lord, I think back and laugh. Those days celebrated the folly of youth and the good looks that come with it. I’ll stop at the risk of divulging any ancient secrets. But, hey! Try this way easy bread pudding. It’s Fall and time for a little pumpkin!
Pumpkin Tres Leches Bread Pudding
- 9 cups dense day old bread. French, challah and brioche are all excellent
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 eggs, well beaten
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin, plain
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut bread into 1″ cubes and place into the baking pan in an even layer. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
- In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients well, making certain all ingredients are well mixed. I use a large whisk.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the cubed bread.
- Press the bread down gently to help soak up the egg mixture. You can use the back of a mixing spoon. I’ve even used my hands.
- Cover and set aside for 15 minutes so the bread absorbs the egg mixture.
- Uncover and bake for 50-60 minutes. Check for doneness at 50 minutes as the baking time depends on the denseness of the bread.
- When the top of the bread springs back after being touched the pudding is done.
- It can be served warm or cold as is or drizzled with some cream, caramel or chocolate sauce. Some toasted pecan pecans are nice sprinkled on top of each serving. The possibilities are almost endless!
As usual, I am in awe of your creativity!
Thank you so much, Camille!! I needed a little positive feedback!! So thank you!!