pumpkin bread pudding
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Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Gwen Ashley Walters
October, 2009, Page 189
Photo by Richard Maack
What’s that? A slight nip in the evening air? Yes, slightly cooler nights are here, even if daytime temperatures still languish in that all-too-familiar sizzle zone. We’re ready to celebrate even a hint of “chill” with an autumnal, warm dessert from The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale – pumpkin bread pudding ($6).
The Mission isn’t your average south-of-the-border restaurant, and this dessert isn’t your typical bread pudding. A tricked-out comfort classic, it begins with a pan full of pumpkin quick bread, heady with “Christmas spices,” according to Chef Matt Carter. Think cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
Cut into 1-inch cubes, the bread is placed into another pan, buttered of course, and then soaked in silky custard – a medley of eggs, sugar and cream. Baked until crusty on top and soft and tender inside, the pumpkin bread pudding is cooled and cut into hefty squares.
That alone would be a delicious dessert, but this is The Mission, after all, so there’s no stopping there. The warm square of bread pudding arrives in a pool of dark butter scotch – yes, two words, because this isn’t your typical butterscotch sauce, either.
Carter says he first thought about pairing the pudding with a hot buttered rum sauce but deemed that too sweet, so he chose Scotch whisky to add a contrasting “bite.” And butter. Lots of butter, swirled into a thick, rich caramel.
That’s not all. The dish is topped with a scoop of Berto’s cinnamon gelato, a sprinkle of smoky ancho chile powder and a handful of toasted pepitas (the inner seed of a pumpkin seed). Every bite is a dreamy, delicious reminder of why we love fall.
If you want to splurge, pair the pumpkin bread pudding with a shot of Agavero ($10), a sweet, tequila-based liqueur that Carter specifically recommends with the pudding, or a strong cup of French-pressed coffee ($5).
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