This is full of warm autumnal spices, brown sugar and pumpkin. The inside is soft, fluffy and smooth – all topped with a crisp, brown sugar and pecan streusel.
I think this is the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch dish to make you feel warm and cozy on a chilly autumn day with the family.
It’s super easy to prepare and is actually better if it is prepared the night before you want to bake it. Just whisk the custard ingredients together, pour over the bread cubes and refrigerate. The streusel topping should be scattered over the casserole just before baking.
Butter for greasing the dish
1 large loaf of brioche or challah, cut into cubes
8 large eggs
1 ½ cup/360ml of whole milk
1 ½ cup/360ml of double/heavy cream
Zest of one orange
1tbs vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar – lightly packed
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (about half a can)
2tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup raisins
Pinch of salt
2/3 cups/80g plain/all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed soft brown sugar
Small handful of pecans, roughly broken into pieces
113g/4oz/1 stick of cold butter cut into dice
Warm maple syrup for serving
Butter the casserole dish
Mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted. Add the butter and mix until the topping resembles rough breadcrumbs. Stir in the pecans and set aside. This step can easily be done by hand by rubbing in the butter. Set aside while you make the pumpkin custard.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin, vanilla, spices, zest and sugar in a large bowl until fully incorporated and smooth.
Pile the bread cubes into the casserole dish, scattering a few raisins throughout. Pour over the custard, making sure all the cubes are soaked. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight if this going to be baked for breakfast.
When you are ready to bake the casserole, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/360°F and scatter over the streusel. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for a further 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is crunchy, browned and caramelised.
Serve hot with warmed maple syrup and good hot coffee for a perfect Autumnal weekend or holiday breakfast.