During our Orlando vacation, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna make but I wanted to make something homey, feel good (of course) and of the casserole persuasion for our family but it had to be something my nephew would love too.
I knew it had to have pumpkin, cause what kind of a food blogger would I be anyway if I didn’t create an amazing pumpkin recipe at the height of Pumpkin Food Blogging Season! I’d seen a tsunami of pumpkin recipes and though I was waiting for my friend Inspiration to hit me I knew I’d need some of my tools and ingredients to pull it off. So I packed my vintage, wooden wine box, the one I keep under the metal prep table in my kitchen and filled it with the following items to-go:
- baking powder
- silicone mat and spatula
- white/dark/milk chocolate
- flour sifter
- shredded coconut
Saturday morning, my inspiration led me right to Farah’s Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole at the Cooking Jar. Man, was I glad I did.
The recipe is really so simple and broken into 4 large sections: Add bread, add custard, add streusel and bake. That’s it. I tore the bread pieces and added to the dish, added the pumpkin infused custard and sprinkled the streusel then set the oven timer for 45 minutes.
When I’d finished prepping the casserole, I stood back and checked my work : Wow! my dish looked store-bought! I never even knew how to make streusel before. The ingredients and directions were spot on. Once it was finished baking, I drizzled maple syrup over the top and that was all she wrote — it was a hit! The disappearing act had begun and by that evening all that was left was one, single, solitary piece which I gave to Momz. Always leave the best for last. 🙂
Back in the Feel Good Food Blog Test Kitchen, I couldn’t wait to make that casserole again, but this time I’d change a few things 😉 For starters, I wanted to enhance the pumpkin component of this recipe so I decided to use my Pumpkin Butter recipe but I didn’t want to stop there..I wanted to add a little something extra- you guessed it (wide toothed grin comin’ atcha) bananas! Yep. And don’t tell me you didn’t see that one comin’..lol. And..while we’re talkin’ about pumpkin, let me just put this out there: my pumpkin resume consisted of supermarket pumpkin pies once a year till about 1998 which means my pumpkin resume was clearly non-existent cause my supermarket made a pretty mean pumpkin pie mind you.
Thanksgiving 1998 was the year I got the courage to make that pumpkin pie recipe on the back of the Ms. Libby’s pumpkin puree can..lol.. Oh snap! That was your first pumpkin pie recipe too?! High five! I knew it! lol..Before that I didn’t look for pumpkin any other time of the year. So when I got older and started cooking Thanksgiving dinners I started experimenting a little more with pumpkin and found that pumpkin and bananas is a matrimony made in heaven. But please don’t just take my word for it. I’m counting on you now.
Can I ask you something? Have you snacked on a scoop of pumpkin puree lately? No? I don’t blame you! That’s because pumpkin, let’s face it, it’s is a little dry, has no sense of humor, and usually needs to be dressed up and made pretty. I gotta tell you the banana was the perfect accessory and the raisin bread another lovely fringe that made the dish a superstar. The raisin bread definitely takes this dish to a whole ‘notha level. It comes out more like a pudding, spongy, creamy but the nuts added that crunch though and the raisins break up the creaminess with a little tartness making this pudding very well- balanced, luxurious and just in time for Fall y’all.
So what have you learned so far?? Repeat after me:
Yes, my kids will love this.
Yes, my hubby will sneak in at night and cop a slice, and it’s OK.
Yes, I will want to make this on Saturday morning.
Yes, my house will smell incredible while its bubbling away in my oven, warming up my house and spreading a Cinnamonny, Pumpkin-Banana gospel throughout the neighborhood
No, I will not resist the urge to make your boozy Puerto-Rican Style Frozen Egg Nog, Coquito Ice cream, which is the perfect pairing for this
Yes, I will whip up some heavy cream, vanilla and sugar and make myself happy with some homemade whipped cream to top off this beaut!
Finally, please share the love. There are millions of cold, pumpkin-less ovens right now suffering from a Pumpkin Banana Raisin Bread Pudding deficiency and we must put an end to this!
Thank you and Happy Eating!
- 1 loaf of raisin bread
- 1 cup of Pumpkin Banana Butter or 1 cup of Pumpkin Butter and 1 pureed banana
- 6 large Eggs
- 1½ cups of milk
- 1½ cups of heavy cream
- ¾ sugar
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1¼ cups flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoon of pumpkin spice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- Tear the raisin bread and place in a greased 9x13 casserole dish or a deep, round tart dish. Combine the eggs, milk, pumpkin banana puree, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg for the custard. Whisk until smooth and the eggs are uniform. Pour the pumpkin banana custard over the raisin bread and softly press down on the bread to make sure it soaks as much of the custard as possible.
- For the brown sugar crumble, mix the flour, brown sugar, pumpkin spice and sea salt.
- Add the butter and incorporate it into the mix using your fingers or fork until a crumbly consistency, then mix in the nuts and refrigerate. Cover both the crumble and bread pudding and refrigerate for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Sprinkle the crumble over the top of the casserole and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 45 minutes or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm.