Posts Tagged With: Vanilla

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglais & Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce

WARNING: If you’re watching your waistline during the holiday season, this post is most definitely NOT for you.  Sorry.  Come back later…

If you’d rather indulge in all things delicious, keep reading because this recipe is absolutely sinful.  A big thanks to one of my co-workers, Sarah, who pointed me to this recipe by Bobby Flay…I ended up making it for dessert for Thanksgiving to supplement my ugly pie and it was a huge hit.  Huge.  I didn’t want to share.  So I let everyone eat their helpings and then I took it home and ate it for breakfast the next few mornings.  Seriously, dessert for breakfast…pumpkin is a squash (vegetable-ish = healthy) that was turned sweeter so therefore it must be like a fruit and there’s bread involved and LOTS of eggs.  Translation: acceptable breakfast.  Don’t judge me.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup pure canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • Pumpkin Bread, toasted and cubed, recipe follows
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise, recipe follows
  • Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce, recipe follows
  • Freshly whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 325º. Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined, remove the vanilla pod, and whisk in the bourbon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.

Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking glass baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard.

Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the sides of the glass dish. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and water bath and cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Spoon some of the Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise into a shallow bowl, top with some of the bread pudding and drizzle with the Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce. Top with freshly whipped cream. Bread pudding is best served warm.

Pumpkin Bread:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces (scant 1 cup) canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 4 tablespoons softened butter, sugar, and oil at high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

Once the bread is cool, slice in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread the cubes on a large baking sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven until lightly toasted, turning once, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise:

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup pure cane sugar

Bring the half-and-half and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until at the pale ribbon stage. Slowly whisk in the hot half-and-half, return the mixture to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set over an ice bath. Stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple schnapps

Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean, small saucepan and place back over low heat while you make the caramel.

Combine the sugar, water and, vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook without stirring, until it’s a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, and continue whisking until smooth. Add the apple schnapps and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat before serving.

Categories: American, Breads, Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Mmmmmm, ice cream.  I love homemade ice cream, but so often after you put it in the freezer it turns as hard as a rock and is near impossible to scoop without letting it sit up for awhile.  That is NOT my idea of ice cream.  So when I saw this month’s issue of Cook’s Illustrated promised to solve this issue, I was intrigued.  Let me digress for a second to sing my praises to Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  This is a great bi-monthly magazine with zero thrills and no advertising.  They are brutally honest and test recipes and cook’s tools rigorously, publishing all of their failures and opinions along the way.  Its a great un-biased resource and I have to say, I’ve never been disappointed in a recipe that I’ve tried that they put through the ringer.

All that being said, on to the task of making ice cream that won’t turn into a brick in my freezer.  The article leading up to this recipe was a couple pages long and described the author’s scientific (and no-so-scientific) ways of trying to create ice cream that was soft and creamy.  Basically, it boiled down to the type of sugars used and their different freezing points.  The final (and successful) recipe replaced 1/2 of the sugar with corn syrup because it has smaller molecules that freezes slower and therefore does not allow ice crystals to form.  Okay, so Cook’s Illustrated made it work, but did I?  I’m happy to say that I have soft, scoop-able vanilla bean ice cream hanging out in my freezer that has an amazing consistency.  Its not quite as soft as what I get from the grocery store, but I don’t have to let it sit out 20 minutes before I can eat it, so its a winner in my book!  Word of warning though, this recipe takes forever from start to finish, so make sure you have several hours to dedicate to it…

Love ice cream?  So does Branden and I just bought a Jeni’s Ice Cream cookbook, so we’ll be posting about some of our adventures trying to re-create Jeni’s little bites of heaven at home.  I have high expectations for two reasons: 1.  I love Jeni’s Ice Cream and 2. Jeni tested all of her recipes in a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker to make sure folks could achieve good results at home.  I can’t wait!!!  Until, enjoy some vanilla bean ice cream!

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 c. whole milk (for those of you in our neck of the woods, we really like Hartzler’s Dairy Whole Milk)
  • 1/2 c. + 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/3 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  1. Place 8 or 9 inch square metal baking pan in freezer.  Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Using tip of a pairing knife, scrape out vanilla seeds.  Combine vanilla bean, seeds, cream, milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. While cream mixture heats, whisk yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Slowly whisk 1 cup heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture.  Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7 to 14 minutes.  Immediately pour custard into large bowl and let cool until no longer steaming, 10 to 20 minutes.  Transfer 1 cup custard to small bowl.  Cover both bowls with plastic wrap.  Place large bowl in refrigerator and small bowl in freezer and cool completely, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours (small bowl of custard will freeze solid).
  3. Remove custards from refrigerator and freezer.  Scrape frozen custard from small bowl into large bowl of custard.  Stir occasionally until frozen custard has fully dissolved.  Strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and transfer to ice-cream machine.  Churn until mixture resembles thick soft-serve ice cream and registers about 21 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.  Transfer ice cream to frozen baking pan and press plastic wrap on surface.  Return to freezer until firm around edges, about 1 hour.
  4. Transfer ice cream to airtight container, pressing firmly to remove any air pockets, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.  Serve.  Ice cream can be stored for up to 5 days.

Yield, approximately 1 quart

Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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