I know it's almost Christmas, and many of you have fallen off the pumpkin-train. I'm here to tell you to GET. BACK. ON. Seriously, there is no reason pumpkin needs to be shunned after Thanksgiving. It's still totally delicious! For those of you in less-than-arctic climates, you might even still have IN SEASON PUMPKINS. Oh man, that stretched my imagination.
I first made this during Thanksgiving while we were in Portland. I'd seen it over on Minimalist Baker and immediately thought "that's my jam." It totally is my jam. I love pumpkin. I love French toast. I love (almost) anything baked. I kill for pecans. I smother everything in maple syrup. Clearly, this dish was made for Mary.
Now that I've made it more than once, I can say that it is pretty hard to mess up, really easy to throw together, and really good a few days in a row for breakfast. I do recommend letting it sit overnight — or at least for a few hours! I made it in a rush one morning, only letting it sit for 15 minutes or so, and the bread definitely did not get as saturated as it should have. Overnight for the win! It's easier that way, too!
Use a rich bread — like the challah I posted yesterday! Brioche would do a good job too. If you're getting extra crazy, you could use cinnamon-raisin bread or CINNAMON ROLLS OMG. If you do that, please send me a picture and then move here to be my best friend. You think I'm joking. I'm totally not.
If you hop over to Minimalist Baker to see Dana's recipe you'll notice she uses pumpkin butter — apparently she recommends that, so if you have pumpkin butter go for her recipe. I've never heard of pumpkin butter in my little sheltered life, so I stuck with good ol' pumpkin puree. It's just so easy!Print
- 5 ½ - 7 ½ cups 1-inch bread cubes (enough to heartily fill a 9x13 baking dish)
- 7 large eggs
- 2 cups milk (any)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Lightly butter a 9x13 baking dish and fill with bread cubes. They should completely fill the dish and stick out above.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree until smooth. Pour over the bread, mixing gently to coat all pieces.
- Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours!).
- When ready to bake, sprinkle brown sugar and chopped nuts over top of the bread.
- Bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes — the top should be golden and crisped. Serve immediately with warm maple syrup.