I got a new idea for a new feature while cleaning out my photo collections. I haven’t looked back at them for a while, and there were so many that I loved. So I decided to share these favorites as a weekly feature. I would love to have it short and sweet, but I want to add a recipe in the first photo I picked. Haha.
I thought I’d share this recipe. I was making bread pudding for the restaurant with all the extra bread we had. My customers keep coming back for it and always getting it to-go when they are too stuffed from dinner.
Caramelized Apple Bread Pudding
Serves eight large pieces or twelve regular size pieces
- 1-gallon zip lock bag of stale bread, cubed**
- 1/2 c raisins
- 3 c whole milk
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t salt
- 2 T butter plus extra 1-2 T butter for pan
- 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced 1/8″ thick*
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 c sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 can condensed milk
- 2 t vanilla
- 1/4 c powdered sugar–you can add more or less to taste
Grease the baking dish with 1–2 T of melted butter. Note about the pan: My pan ceramic is 8 x 11″ and 3″ deep. Use a 9 x13 pan if you don’t have this size pan.
In a large bowl, add bread and raisins and set them aside.
Making the custard
Add custard ingredients to a pot, heat over medium heat until you see tiny bubbles forming on the edges, stirring occasionally. Don’t boil. The milk should be steaming. Pour milk mixture over the bread and the raisin and mix until the milk has soaked all the bread. Don’t over mix; the bread cubes should keep their shape somewhat. Set aside.
Caramelizing the apples
Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a frying/saute pan on medium heat. Add sugar to the melted butter, slightly stir it to help it melt evenly. It should start turning brown at the edges. Stirring occasionally, all of the sugar should turn evenly brown.
It should be light brown all over. It’s probably better to lighter than darker brown because the darker it gets, the more bitter it will taste.
Add the sliced apples and stir into the caramelized sugar.
This moment is when you will probably freak out because you think you ruin your beautifully caramelized sugar. Nope, you didn’t. The sugar will seize (becomes hard clumps) because of the juice from the apples, but keep stirring the sugar and apples together. The apples will start producing a lot of fluid, and the clumps of sugar will melt into the liquid.
Reduce the apple juice/sugar mixture to half, and the apples should tender by then.
Pour the apple/sugar mixture into the bread custard mix. Mix the apple and bread well, so everything is evenly distributed.
Now turn on your oven to 350º. Once my oven is ready, the mixture is cool enough to add the eggs to the bread custard mix. Mix well, trying not to break up the cubes. Pour mixture into butter dish/pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The top should be golden brown and puffed up a bit. You can you a cake tester to see if it comes out clean or press down on the top with your finger, and if it springs back, it’s ready.
Mix all the ingredients well.
Serve it warm with a drizzle of vanilla sauce.
This recipe keeps well in the freezer. I slice it up into the serving size, double wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil. Should keep for a month. Take out and defrost in the refrigerator. Heat the slice for a minute in the microwave or toaster to get the texture of the bread soft.
*I use fuji because it holds up to the caramelization but uses whatever apples you like.
** I get my bread from the restaurant, usually hard rolls. I cube the bread, put it in the gallon-sized zip-lock bags, and throw them in the freezer. So I have the bread ready to make when I need it. It’s usually 5-6 hard rolls to fill a gallon freezer bag. Stale bread works the best for this recipe. If the bread is too fresh, it becomes mushy when you add the wet ingredients. Still useable/eatable but doesn’t look as good. I have added some slices of whole wheat bread to the mixture; it adds a nice sweetness.