We’ve been busy celebrating Hanukkah and getting ready for Christmas (we are equal opportunity holiday celebrators around here!) I’m cooking all week this week getting ready for our big Christmas dinner next week. I’ll share a few details of our meal soon. In the meantime, with fall ending this Friday, I wanted to share this dish with you. This time of year I’m craving cranberries. I love them in relishes and sauces, but also baked in a savory dish like this bread pudding.
We had this for dinner with nothing but a salad of field greens tossed with a mustard vinaigrette, as good as it was by itself, I couldn’t help but think how good it would be with baked ham or roasted duck – even turkey. Its the balance of tangy buttermilk, savory Gruyere, herbs and mustard, and the sweet squash and maple sugar that really make this dish. It’s a keeper. The buttermilk really keeps the calorie count down too! Enjoy!
Bread Pudding with Roasted Cranberries and Acorn Squash
serves 6 as an entree, 10-12 as a side
This bread pudding is a delicate balance of flavors. Savory but with sweet notes, it’s perfect for many different occasions. Paired with fresh fruit it makes an ideal brunch casserole; savory enough to have as a side with roasted turkey, ham or duck or even with a side salad for a meatless entree.
1 medium acorn squash
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple sugar (or brown sugar), divided
8 cups french bread or other sturdy chewy bread, cubed into 2” cubes
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
5 ounces Gruyere, shredded
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Cut the stem off the acorn squash and split in half. Scoop the seeds and strings from the middle and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle the top of each of squash halves with about 1/4 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the maple sugar.
Place in oven. Toss cranberries with thyme and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place cranberries on another parchment lined baking sheet and bake until soft and split, about 15 minutes.
Remove the cranberries from the oven and toss with remaining 3 tablespoons of maple sugar.
Continue to cook the acorn squash until tender about another 30 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool.
While the squash is cooking melt butter in a small pan and add leeks and sage. Cook until soft and translucent, about five minutes.
In a medium bowl combine eggs, buttermilk, milk and mustard. When the squash has cooled, peel the outer skin and chop into 1 inch cubes. You can also use a small scoop to scoop the squash out from the skin.
Toss cranberries, squash and leek mixture together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly mix in bread cubes and Gruyere.
Spray a two quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and add bread and squash mixture. Pour buttermilk egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Place baking dish on the middle rack of a preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour or until the middle is lightly puffed and top is light brown. Allow the finished bread pudding sit for five minutes before serving.