One of the best things about what we do is the chance to meet inspiring cooks from around the world. From bloggers to chefs to your next door neighbor, there are people all around us who are pushing the envelope of creating and sharing great, from-scratch dishes. One of the people we’ve been fortunate enough to get to know is Chef Christine Moody. Originally from Canada and a childhood friend of our CTO Alex, Christine is a young, up and coming chef with an impressive background. After studying at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Christine was the chef of two restaurants (where we had the pleasure of dining): the Lumber Yard in Amherst, MA, and Sconset Cafe in Nantucket. Now back in Canada, she’s the head of food innovation at iQ Food Co.
Stellar resume aside, the truth is that Christine is one heck of a cook (and baker). One of the things we love to do when we meet professional chefs is find out what they cook for their families at home.
We first had this bread pudding last year while dining at the Lumber Yard and given that she makes everything (even the bread) from scratch, we knew we had to have the recipe! When we asked her for her ideal Thanksgiving dessert (secretly hoping she would choose this), she created this decadent version just for us to share with you. It’s perfect for your Thanksgiving table and elegant enough to serve to company while not being too fussy.
The recipe starts by baking a few loaves of homemade spiced pumpkin bread. Simple, moist, and full of warm spices, this is the seasonal alternative to typical banana bread. It’s completely delicious on it’s own (slathered with butter and sprinkled with sea salt as Christine enjoys it), but it transforms into something luscious after being soaked and baked.
If you bake the bread a day or two in advance, the “pudding” part actually comes together quite easily. Just toss cubes of the bread with walnuts, milk, cream, and maple syrup, then bake it until just set and custard-y.
See that bottle in the background? Yeah, we’re getting to that next.
The “icing on the cake” for this recipe is the maple bourbon sauce that gets drizzled (or in our case, doused) on top. By simmering maple syrup on the stove until reduced, you create an intensely flavored syrup that just screams to be spiked with bourbon. Rye whiskey, scotch, or rum would be delicious variations as well.
Rich, decadent, and delicious, this bread pudding is downright comforting. The cubes of pumpkin bread take on a custard-like consistency and the crunch of walnuts adds a nutty texture to complement the soft pudding. No wonder we were rolling our eyes when we had this last year! Simple, elegant, and delicious. From Chef Christine’s kitchen to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.