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About 4 8-oz Le Creuset coccottes (pictured) or 8 4-oz ramekins

Sweet potatoes were the theme for an upcoming edition of WMUR’s Cooks Corner. My goal was to showcase both sweet and savory recipes. Forget the turkey, the creamed onions, the green bean casserole dish. You can make an entire meal based on sweet potatoes … okay, maybe not. But you can serve them as an appetizer, as a side dish, and as dessert.

The addition of apple cider into my salted caramel sauce gave this dish an added hint of Thanksgiving.

sweet potato bread puddingWhat you need:

  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf Challah bread, cut into1-inch cubes (leave out for a day or two for the bread to become dried out)
  • 1 1/2 c sweet potato puree (about 2 lg sweet potatoes*)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c milk or coconut milk
  • 1 c raw heavy cream
  • 1 c  brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 c plus 1/4 c maple-glazed pecans, chopped**
  • 1 c Salted Apple Caramel Sauce (Replace 1/4 c of cream with 1/4 c apple cider in this recipe.)
  • Serve with whipped cream and extra pecans, if desired.

What you do:

  • Add bread cubes to large bowl.
  • Set aside.
  • In mixer bowl, whisk mashed sweet potato, eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well combined.
  • Pour sweet potato mixture over bread.
  • Toss to coat well.
  • Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 min.
  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Prepare baking dishes (ramekins, casserole, etc) with butter.
  • Divide bread mixture evenly among dish(es) and press firmly.
  • Top with 1/2 c pecans.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Place ramekins or baking dish in larger roasting pan.
  • Add enough hot water to pan to come up at least halfway.
  • Bake for 40 min, remove foil and cook about 10 more, or until top is lightly golden.
  • Remove from oven and carefully transfer ramekins or baking dish to cooling rack.
  • Prepare salted apple caramel sauce.
  • Drizzle over bread pudding.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  • Serve with additional sauce and pecans, if desired.

*I usually roast a huge quantity of sweet potatoes to have on hand for various recipes. If you are just making this dish, roast about 3 lg sweet potatoes. Heat oven to 400°. Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt. Cook until easily pierced with fork, about 45 min; turning halfway. Cool and mash.

**These are available at my farmers market. If you don’t have access to maple-glazed pecans, simply prepare baking sheet, heat oven to 350°, spread pecans on sheet, drizzle with enough maple syrup to coat. Roast for 5-8 min. Remove from oven and let cool. Chop and use as desired.