One of the great joys of travel is experiencing a destination with all of your senses; learning its rhythms, exploring sites both everyday and extraordinary, and sampling its flavors. Food is a touchstone for discovering a place and its culture, and at National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, cuisine plays a central—and scrumptious—role. We asked chefs from our lodges for recipes that capture the flavors of their destination. We hope you enjoy bringing these tastes of the world into your own kitchen. A favorite for the holiday season, this recipe comes straight from Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort's executive chef Derek Bendig.
Makes 8-12 servings
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a well buttered 10-inch square cake pan with parchment paper and place the cubed baguette in the pan.
3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined and the sugars are dissolved. Pour this over the bread and allow to soak at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. The center will be slightly puffy.
Bourbon Crème Anglaise
1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape its seeds into a 2-quart saucepan, then add the pod and the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring once or twice with a wooden spoon.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is pale yellow.
3. Whisk a little of the hot milk into the yolk mixture to warm it, and then slowly whisk in the rest of the milk. Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the saucepan, turn the heat down to low, and cook, stirring and scraping into the corners of the pan, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and holds a trail when you run your finger across it (an instant-read thermometer should register from 170°F to 175°F), about 2 minutes. Immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
4. Fill a large bowl with a few inches of ice water, then set the bowl of crème anglaise into the ice bath to quickly chill it. Stir occasionally until cool, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bourbon. Serve right away or cool, sauce will hold in the fridge for 5 days.
Candied Cranberries (make a day ahead)
1. Place the cranberries in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Make a simple syrup by bringing the water and sugars just to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Let the syrup cool for a couple minutes and then pour it over the cranberries. If the syrup is too hot the cranberries will burst, so be careful. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, drain the cranberries and toss them with medium-grained sugar until they are well coated. Use a scoop of sugar at a time, and small batches of cranberries, so the sugar doesn't get too damp. Place the coated cranberries on a baking sheet to dry for a few hours.
4. Do a second toss with the regular granulated sugar, this typically takes care of any sticky spots on the cranberries. Let dry another hour.
Makes 2 cups of sparkling cranberries.
Pour a small puddle of the crème anglaise in the center of a dessert plate, and place a warmed portion of the bread pudding on top. Dust with powdered sugar and place a small pile of the candied cranberries to the side of the pudding.
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