Whenever we finish a loaf of bread, I add the heels to a big baggie in my freezer, and when the baggie's full, it's time for bread pudding. But my usual version (which is just kind of plain) turns Alice off. This recipe, originally from the Betty Crocker website, marks my first success in the battle to get Alice to like bread pudding. I increased the spices from the original recipe, to make it even more like a good pumpkin pie. Warmed up and topped with cream, milk, or vanilla ice cream, this is good for dessert or breakfast

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
3 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 C (or 1 15-oz can) pumpkin
3 eggs
½ C chopped pecans
6 C bread cubes

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and side of springform pan, 10x3 inches.

Mix all ingredients except bread cubes and pecans in large bowl until well blended. Stir in bread cubes and chopped pecans. Let mixture stand 10 minutes; spoon into springform pan. Sprinkle additional chopped pecans on top of pudding, if desired.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes; remove side of pan. Serve warm with cream. Refrigerate any remaining pudding.

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