This delicious bread pudding carries the intrinsic character of the Thanksgiving feast. It embodies the comfort and warmth of childhood desserts in cold weather, using healthy, forthright, honest ingredients prepared in a simple straightforward way.

Yield: six dessert portions

Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Three medium bowls
Fine mesh sieve or sifter
Measuring cups and spoons
Fine-holed grater
Electric hand mixer
6 to 8 ramekins holding 3 or 4 ounces each
Medium ice cream scoop
Small sauce pan
Small wooden spoon
Six small containers or bowls
Small rubber spatulas
Wooden chopstick
Sheet tray
Tin foil

1 and 2/3 Cups flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground allspice berries
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt

1 and 1/3 peeled raw carrot, grated fine
1/3 Cup pumpkin puree

¼ pound sweet butter
7/8 Cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 Cup pureed, good quality orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. Myers rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ Cup water

1 Cup cream cheese
5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom seeds
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ Cup heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 6 3 or 4-ounce ramekins.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour and spices. Divide the flour mix into three batches.

Combine the finely grated carrot and the pumpkin puree.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream the mixture until it is light. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Add the carrot-pumpkin mixture and divide into three batches.

Place one batch of flour in a large bowl. Add the first batch of carrot mixture. Mix thoroughly with a small wooden spoon. Add a second batch of flour. Stir and add the second batch of carrot mix. Stir to blend, then add the final batch of flour followed by the final batch of carrot mix. Stir until all is blended.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill the buttered, floured ramekins halfway. Place them on a sheet tray and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the puddings have risen and are golden brown.

While the puddings are baking, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the well-pureed orange marmalade, rum, vanilla extract and heavy cream. Warm to make a pourable liquid.

When the puddings are baked, with a wooden chopstick poke five holes in each one, down to the bottom of the ramekin. Drizzle the orange marmalade syrup into the holes in each pudding.

For the cream cheese mousse, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and keep beating. Add the ground cardamom and two twists of black pepper, and beat again. When all ingredients are fully blended, fold in the whipped cream to lighten the mousse. Refrigerate until serving.

To serve, reheat the puddings, covered in tin foil, in a 300-degree oven until well warmed. Top with a dollop of cream cheese mousse straight from the refrigerator, for a delightful hot-cold effect.

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