Meanwhile in China...
Bobby Flay’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce and Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise (http://www.foodnetwork.com/
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup pure canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons bourbon
Pumpkin Bread, toasted and cubed (make your favorite or go to bakery)
Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise, recipe follows
Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined, remove the vanilla pod, and whisk in the bourbon. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.
Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in a buttered 9 by 13 inch baking glass dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard.
Place the pan in a larger roasting pan and pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until it comes half way up the sides of the glass dish. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and water bath and cool on a baking rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. Spoon some of the Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise into a shallow bowl, top with some of the bread pudding and drizzle with Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce. Top with whipped cream. Bread pudding is best served warm.
Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise
2 cups half and half
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
5 large egg yolks
1/3 cup pure cane sugar
Bring the half and half and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Whisk together the yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until a the pale ribbon stage (pale and thick, when you lift the whisk out batter falls back in bowl in a ribbon-like pattern). Slowly whisk in the hot half and half, return the mixture to the pot, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set over an ice bath. Stir until chilled. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup apple juice
1 star anise (can find this in seasonings from China)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple schnapps
Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean, small saucepan and place back over low heat while you make the caramel. Combine the sugar, water and vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook without stirring, until it’s a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, and continue whisking until smooth. Add the apple schnapps and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat before serving.