With a consistency between a pudding and a loaf, this is a dense, sweet and spice-filled dessert. Pumpkin bread pudding is wonderful warm or at room temperature, and it may be served in a wedge or square with simple fresh whipped cream or, vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. Sliced pears tossed in a bit of lemon juice and orange liqueur would also be a delicious topping.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin with eggs and egg yolks, half-and-half, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom; set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons water and remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and heat over high heat. As sugar melts, swirl the pan often to ensure even melting. Do not stir with a spoon because it will slow the melting process and cause uneven browning. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until sugar has a deep caramel color; remove from the heat. Carefully whisk 1/4 cup of the heavy cream into the caramel until well combined, then whisk in remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream. Pour caramel mixture into a 2 1/2-quart oblong casserole dish. Top with half of the bread cubes, then pour half of the pumpkin mixture over the top. Top with remaining bread, then remaining pumpkin mixture, making sure to soak all of the bread. Set aside to let sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until set.
Per Serving:340 calories (130 from fat), 14g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 95mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 47g carbohydrates, (7 g dietary fiber, 27g sugar), 8g protein.
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