Perhaps you, like me, have a terrible holiday secret: You don’t really like pumpkin pie. I mean it’s OK, and maybe you’ll eat it if it’s there and you’re really hungry, or bored, but you aren’t seeking it out by any means. And if an entire holiday goes by without having to eat a slice, you won’t miss it.
The question I keep asking myself, of course, is why I subject myself to pumpkin pie year after year if I know I don’t really care for it.
The answer, of course, is because it’s tradition.
And, ya know, everybody expects it.
But today in the coupons of the Sunday paper, I saw an inspirational idea. C&H Sugar was promoting its products (with 50 cents off) and offering a “new twist on a classic fall favor” -- Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
Now that’s an idea I can get behind.
So if you’re just not that into pumpkin pie, either, but don’t mind the pumpkin flavor, maybe offer your Thanksgiving feasters something a little different this year.
Do you have a favorite alternative to traditional pumpkin pie? Share it with us in the comments below or email

Pumpkin Bread Pudding (with Gingered Creme Anglaise)
4 cups white bread, stale or day-old, cut into cubes
4 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rum or brandy
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 tablespoon butter

Crème Anglaise
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 to 2 teaspoons ginger, ground (to taste)
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Dry bread cubes on cookie sheet in oven 10-15 minutes. Place dried bread cubes in buttered pan. In large mixing bowl, whisk together all pudding ingredients except butter. Pour mixture over bread cubes. No stale bread? Dry fresh bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Let sit for 10 minutes to make sure bread is fully soaked. Dab butter over top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes. Pudding should be set in center, but not dry. When baking, pudding edges will puff up higher on the sides, but will deflate once it’s removed from the oven.

Crème Anglaise
In small saucepan, bring milk, cream and ginger to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. In medium mixing bowl, beat yolks with sugar until pale and thick, 3-4 minutes. Strain cream mixture through a fine sieve, discarding ginger. Slowly, pour cream mixture into egg mixture, stirring constantly until blended. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, just until thickened. Do not boil or sauce may curdle (see Quick Tip). Add vanilla. Pour into small container; cover and chill.
Store pudding and sauce separately in airtight containers for up to 3 days. Reheat pudding just before serving.
Tip: If sauce curdles, remove from stove and whirl in a blender. As hot liquids tend to splash, be careful the hot sauce does not splash out of the blender while blending.