Ah, the beauty of having friends that go apple picking is the left overs that come my way! I was all set to make an apple pie when I saw this recipe from Food and Wine for apple bread pudding. It sounded really interesting to me and I wanted to try it.
Surprisingly finding brioche was a little challenge. I thought about making my own, when I finally found a loaf at Whole Foods. Yay!
I have to admit that I’m not usually a very big fan of bread pudding, but I love the way it smells when it’s in the oven. Maybe it’s because my mom used to make it all the time when I was younger.
This bread pudding was very good! The apples were a nice subtle addition to the sweet cream, cinnamon and vanilla. The brandy enhanced the apples and added more depth of flavor. If there were one thing I would change about this recipe, is that I would add more brioche. The apples will create more liquid once it’s in the oven making the bread pudding very moist.
I was going to serve it with homemade whipped cream, but when I saw my jar of salted caramel in the fridge, I thought caramel apple bread pudding!!! That’s exactly what it tasted like. I’m looking forward to refining this recipe and trying it out on my family for Thanksgiving.
- 1 pound brioche, cut into 1-inch pieces (12 cups)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and cut into ½ -inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup Calvados or other brandy
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract)
- Whipped cream caramel sauce, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the brioche on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly golden and dry.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter; reserve 3 tablespoons of the melted butter in a small bowl. Add the apples and ¼ cup of the sugar to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden and softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon. Remove from the heat and add the Calvados. Return the skillet to the heat and cook until the sauce is syrupy, about 1 minute.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and the remaining ¾ cup of sugar. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the custard (save the vanilla bean for another use). Add the brioche and apples and toss until evenly coated. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the brioche to absorb the custard.
- Brush an 8-by-11-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the reserved melted butter. Add the bread pudding and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is golden. Let the bread pudding cool slightly, then serve with whipped cream or caramel sauce.