Food & Wine, Recipes

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding & Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

The holidays cannot go on without a sticky, warm, bourbon glazed bread pudding. I insist on this! And as much as I love pumpkins and all of the craze that goes with them, I’m shining my light on the underrated butternut squash. And let’s face it, the butternut squash is feeling a whole lot like the pumpkin’s shadow around this time of the year.

This recipe takes some work. There are three recipes that go into this, hence the big picture of ingredients below. You have to make the bread pudding base, the cranberry bourbon sauce, and the maple whipped cream. However it is soooo worth it. You will be singing to the autumn angels over this one!

Before we even get started, please get those dried cranberries soaking in your bourbon!

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To begin, you will need to roast up that butternut squash. Here is the best way to peel, dice, and prepare your squash.

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You will want to cut it where the long end begins to bulb.

Then peel that long part and slice it into even rings.

Then just dice it up into same sized chunks before putting in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Bake this for about 30 -45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Time will vary depending on the size of your chunks, so just keep a lookout. Once this is all tender you will puree it.

While the squash bakes get to work on your brioche loaf.

Use a serrated knife to trim off all of the crust. Then slice and dice and throw those bread chunks into a big bowl!

Now you will get to work on that custard. In a bowl whisk your eggs and set aside. In a saucepan, on low heat, combine heavy cream, buttermilk, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla bean paste. Once that gets simmering, remove from the heat and whisk in your butternut squash puree and set aside to cool slightly.

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Look at this mixture! It smells like comfort, joy, and oh so cozy!

When you temper hot liquid into the eggs, you need to drizzle the hot mixture very slowly into the eggs while whisking like a mad man/woman! This will prevent your custard from becoming scrambled eggs.

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Bread meet your perfect match!

Then give it a light toss to coat and put into a buttered 9×9 baking dish.

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You can just see this is going to be sticky with custard and fall delight!

While that bakes get your bourbon sauce going. I tell you, I wish I could take full credit for this sauce, because it will knock your socks off. You will want to drink it, pour it on your ice cream, bathe in it… It’s THAT good! This is ever so slightly adapted from the bread pudding they served at a now closed St. Louis restaurant called Harvest. And it is magical! And so easy to make.

On low heat, you get the few ingredients listed down in the recipe below and heat it up until it begins to simmer. Then remove from heat, and this is where you get to make a decision! If you are serving this to anyone under 21, you should put aside some of the “virgin” sauce prior to pouring in your bourbon cranberry mixture. Be aware that the alcohol is not going to be cooking off.

Bourbon or not, you’ll be thanking me profusely!

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And last, but certainly not least, quickly whip up your maple whipped cream. The key to whipped cream is that texture. Let me show you how it unfolds with this awesome slideshow.

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It really just takes some patience. And when you think it’s ready, just whip it a bit more!

Your bread pudding should be baked and ready to cool. Yes, again, another dessert where you must let this cool awhile! I’m sorry, but trust me, all this work and all this waiting will be so worth it!

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Now, the best part of all. Assemble and relish in the most indulgent fall desert of the year!

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Butternut Squash Bread Pudding Recipe

Bread pudding Ingredients:

  • 1 Loaf of brioche bread with the crust removed and cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Cup of pureed butternut squash OR pureed pumpkin (yes, you can substitute!)

Directions – Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your bread by removing the crust and cutting into cubes. Peel and dice butternut squash and roast for 35 – 45 minutes. Once fork tender, puree one full cup. Whisk your eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine your cream, buttermilk, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Once it reaches a low boil remove from the heat and stir in your butternut squash puree. Temper this mixture into your whisked eggs- slowly drizzle the hot mixture into eggs while vigorously whisking. Pour mixture over bread and put into buttered pan to bake for approx. 25 -30 minutes.

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries soaking in 1/4 cup of bourbon

Directions – in a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients except for the cranberry/bourbon mixture. Once it simmers to thicken slightly remove from the heat and pour in the bourbon and soaked cranberries.

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 Pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Directions – whip, whip, whip!

Save any leftover sauce, if there is any, for drinking or enjoying with ice cream or anything else you can think of!

Interested in what I used to make this?

KitchenAid Professional Stainless Steel Euro Peeler, Red

CUTCO Model 3721 Santoku-Style Trimmer with Double-D® serrated edge blades and Classic Dark Brown handles (often called “Black”). Welcome it to your kitchen and you’ll soon be hard pressed to function without it. It’s the perfect choice for so many recipes.

Ninja Master Prep Chopper, Blender, Food Processor (QB900B)

Le Creuset Stoneware Square Dish, 9.5-Inch, Cerise (Cherry Red)

Mikasa Italian Countryside 5-Piece Nesting Bowl Set

KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red

J.K. Adams Trilogy Collection Serving Board, Maple

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