1/3 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
2 cups whole milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Half-and-half cream or whipped cream, optional
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine bread cubes, dates and 1/3 cup pecans; place in a greased 2-qt. shallow baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour over bread cubes and toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.
Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour. Serve warm or chilled with cream if desired.