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Pumpkin, Bacon & Sage Bread & Butter Pudding

I must apologise for my hiatus.  This blog took off with a hiss and a roar but I have to admit that there was a moment there when I thought that it might fizzle out just as quickly.  You see I have been experiencing technical difficulties of the highest order.  It was bad.  Tears and hair-pulling bad.  But I'm over it now and must publicly thank Nick for his unbounded reserves of patience.  

And now for the recipe!  I posted a wee while back a recipe for strawberry and chocolate bread and butter pudding.  The recipe is it's savoury counterpart and is particularly moreish.  You will be powerless in your efforts to resist just one serving.  So get to the supermarket and get cooking!  Happy weekend all, it's good to be back!

Pumpkin, Bacon & Sage Bread & Butter Pudding
Serves 6

600g pumpkin, cut into small cubes (roughly 1.5cm)
3 tablespoons olive oil
200g spinach
1 onion, halved, finely chopped
3 rashers/150g bacon, chopped
20 sage leaves, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
250g sour cream
100g feta, crumbled
150g tasty cheese, grated
300g sourdough bread, cut into 1cm slices
20g butter, plus extra for the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and butter an ovenproof dish. Put the pumpkin in a baking dish, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt.  Bake for 30 minutes or until beginning to caramelise. Set aside. 

Put the spinach in a saucepan set over high heat. Cover with a lid and cook for several minutes until the spinach has wilted. Remove the spinach from the saucepan and, once cool, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Chop and set aside.  

Over a medium-high heat, fry the onion in olive oil until soft and translucent.  Add the bacon and onion and continue to fry for several more minutes before adding the pumpkin.  Stir and remove from the heat. 

Put the sour cream in a large bowl and slowly pour in the milk, whisking as you go.  Beat in the eggs then stir in the spinach, feta and two thirds of the tasty cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Butter the bread and put into the baking dish.  Spoon the pumpkin mixture between the pieces of bread before pouring over the egg mixture, making sure to coat each piece of bread.  Leave to sit for 30 minutes before baking at 180C for 40 minutes or until golden and set.