8 cups stale bread, coarsely cubed
1/2 cup dried cranberries OR other dried fruit(chopped dates, dried apricots, golden raisins, etc)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/4 cup butter OR margarine, melted
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Orange Peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, pure
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, pure
Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Place bread in baking dish. Sprinkle cranberries and pecans over the top. Whisk pumpkin, butter, cream, milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, orange peel and vanilla in a large bowl. Pour over bread; let stand 15 minutes. (At this point, mixture can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours, if desired).
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake pudding for 50 to 60 minutes, or until center is set.
For Spiced Vanilla Sauce, mix sugar and corn starch in a medium saucepan. Add milk and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly over medium high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.
To serve, spoon sauce over each serving of bread pudding.