I started a tradition a few years ago that I go shopping for my Thanksgiving list at the Pike Place market. Except for the turkey. I get that at my regular grocery store. I was excited to bring Noah into my yearly tradition yesterday. He enjoyed all the colors and sounds and activities. I want to teach him that food is also about experience and that it comes from actual people and farms, not just cans or plastic wrapped containers.


One of the reasons why I started this tradition was because I make a Quince bread pudding for dessert and there is only one place that I know that always has quince at this time of year. And that is one of the vendors at the market. The recipe for this dessert is from Pastry Chef Mei-I Funtanilla. I took a dessert class from her a few years ago.

Chef Mei-I works at Serafina, which I’ve never been to but looking forward to going there now. She told us how she had gone to the UW then did the corporate thing. She just wasn’t happy, so she quit and enrolled in the culinary program at the AIS here and the rest is obvious. She loves what she does and you can tell. I love stories like that.

Quince and Cranberry Bread Pudding with Toffee-Rum Sauce

Poached Quince:
4 medium quince
4 c water
1 c sugar
Peel, core and quarter the quince. Place in a saucepan with the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until quince have softened, abot 30 minutes. Cook before cutting into small cubes. Reserve 1/2 c of the poaching lliquid

Bread Pudding:
3 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c reserved quince poaching liquid
4 eggs
4 yolks
3/4 sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 c brioche or other egg based bread, cut into cubes
1 1/2 c cranberries
Poached quince
additional sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9″ square baking pan(or use a pretty ceramic baking pan if serving to guests). In a large bowl, whisk the milk, heavy ceam, eggs, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract together. In another bowl, toss the bread cubes, cranberries, and poached quince together and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Pour the custard over the bread mixture, pressing down to make sure everything is coated. Sprinkle a little sugar over the top and bake for 45-60 min until the top is golden brown and the pudding is firm to the touch. Cool slightly. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Spoon a little toffee-rum sauce over and around the pudding. Top with a little whipped cream.

Toffee-Rum Sauce:
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
8 ounces butter
1/4 c dark rum, such as Meyer’s

Bring all ingredients to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until slightly thickened, Serve warm. The sauce may be refrigerated and warmed again before using.
Yield 9 servings.

I have never made the Rum Sauce to go along with the pudding, although I remember it being really good at the class.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. Wow, that is a lot of ingredients!
    Makes me miss Thankgiving now. Didn’t do anything this year, to busy with remodeling.

    Oh, and lucky me, I have been to Serafina and it is divine!

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