By Rose McAvoy
The shortest day of the year is less than a month away. On days when the sun makes an appearance it will turn brassy by mid-afternoon. Children scamper home from school trailing long shadows the sidewalk. Our house is still adorned for fall. I can’t bring myself to shove all the lovely rusty colored decorations into the closet just yet. I have changed my background music sound track. I spend my time puttering to twinkly George Winston and lively Vince Gauraldi, pausing every once and awhile to do a little awkward Peanuts Gang style dancing.
Yesterday I dumped the last of our Thanksgiving turkey into my soup pot. It simmered in a fragrant purée of stock, caramelized onions, carrots, and roasted squash. I’ll have it again today for lunch. A hearty soup warms the tummy and fuels the body, both good things on days with little light. As delicious and satisfying as a warm bowl of soup is it can leave you wanting a little something more. Something that requires chewing. A leftover Light &Buttery Drop Biscuit would have been just the thing to pair with our meal of soup. Unfortunately the biscuits had turned stale. *sniff*
Somehow after our Thanksgiving meal we forgot about the remaining Light &Buttery Biscuits! They were carelessly zipped into a bag and tossed on top of the fridge. Alone and unloved, they lost their light fluffy texture turned chewy and dry. Fortunately I had just come across a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding and knew just want I wanted to do with the now stale biscuits.
Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread Pudding
This deceptively hearty dish gives new life to stale bread. The final dish tastes much more indulgent than its calorie count indicates. Paired with eggs or yogurt it makes a colorful holiday breakfast. Offer it as a side dish to turn a roast into a celebration. Or top this lightly sweet pudding with a dollop of whip cream for a comforting dessert by the fire.
• 3 cups of torn wheat bread pieces – recommended Light &Buttery Drop Biscuits
• 1 cup fresh cranberries
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
• 1 cup low fat milk
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg white
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
• 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar – separated
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/4 teaspoon all spice
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Rub a thin layer of non-stick something (spray, oil, butter) around the inside of a 9×9 baking dish. Layer the torn bread evenly in the dish and top with the cranberries and zest.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Then stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the bread and cranberries. Cover the dish lightly with foil and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
3. While the pudding soaks preheat the oven to 350. After 20 minutes bake the lightly covered pudding for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The finished bread pudding should be springy to the touch with no loose batter in the center.
Tip: To get a bit of crispness on the crust place the finished pudding under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes. Watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Serve warm, not hot.
Per serving when using recommended biscuits: Calories: 103, Fat: 3 g., Carbohydrates: 18 g., Fiber: 2 g., Protein 4 g. PP = 3
Read more from Rose McAvoy at Our Lady of Second Helpings.