The rainy season has begun in Portland, Oregon and while 8 months of rain is a bit drearisome, I always look forward to the first few weeks. The coziness of hunkering down in the house, a fire in the fireplace and the dog sitting at my slippered feet; the feeling is irreplaceable really.

The days are getting shorter and wetter and my evening are becoming filled with knitting children’s Christmas presents, drinking Spicy Chai Lattes, and, when I’m really lucky, eating Pumpkin Bread Pudding. 

Pumpkin Bread Pudding 
serves 2

2 cups homemade challah or French Bread

1/3 cup soymilk
1/3 cup soy creamer or coconut milk
3 tbsp chickpea flour + 3 tbsp water
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extra
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
pinch of salt

Maple Caramel Sauce

2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy creamer or coconut milk
1 tsp arrowroot powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a small (two person) baking dish or two 12 ounce mason jars or mugs.

Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. For best results the bread should be a slightly stale so that it won’t fall apart in the custard. If fresh bread is your only option, toast cubed bread in the oven for 10 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Whisk together the pudding ingredients (everything from the soymilk to a pinch of salt) in a small bowl until completely smooth. Fold in the cubed bread until it is fully hydrated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the bread from the custard and place in the prepared baking dish.  Pour the remaining custard over the bread so that it is fully submerged.

Bake for 20-45 minutes (times will vary greatly depending on size/shape of baking dish) until pudding has firmed up and the tops has turned golden brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

To prepare the Maple Caramel Sauce whisk together maple syrup and arrowroot powder in a small sauce pan, over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and allow it to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Sauce should begin to thicken at this point. Remove from heat and add creamer. Stir to combine. Let cool slightly. It will continue to thicken while cooling.

Pour sauce over bread pudding just before serving. Enjoy!

How do you enjoy the rainy/cold season when it’s too wet to go out and play?

A couple days ago Jason and I started watching Friday Night Lights. I’m not yet entirely sold on the show, but I do see it becoming one of the many ways we make it through the rainy nights ahead of us.