Do you like bread pudding? It’s a popular dessert, but I was never a fan.
Am I allowed to say that? Is it sacrilegious?
When I think “pudding,” I think… well, PUDDING. A creamy, dairy-based dessert, ideally involving chocolate. Bread has nothing to do with it.
The bread puddings I had tried were either dry, mushy, or both. It was like eating stuffing (which for me, isn’t a compliment), only sweet. The flavors weren’t anything special. With so many great desserts out there, bread pudding never entered my mind as something worth making.
And then a year ago, my best friend made this recipe for one of our Sunday suppers.
All that animosity between me and bread pudding? Gone.
The combination of tangy apples, slightly caramelized pieces of bread from the bottom of the pan, and salted caramel sauce are a nice balance of flavors. The dish stays moist as long as you don’t overbake it.
When I decided to restart my Sunday Suppers, I knew this was a great recipe to kick it off. Assemble it in the morning before you leave for brunch, let the flavors mingle all day, then put it in the oven about 30 minutes before you sit down for supper.
Apple Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
Adapted from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, by Amy Traverso
Makes 6-8 servings
Butter for greasing pan
1 loaf (1 pound) crusty white bread, such as Pullman style or Italian
1 1/2 cups caramelized apples (1/2 batch)
3 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup salted caramel sauce
Butter an 11″ x 7″ baking pan. Set aside. Trim the crusts off the sides and ends of the bread, leaving top and bottom intact. Cut the loaf into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange the pieces evenly in the prepared pan. Tuck the caramelized apples down among the bread pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours.
Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes and apples with your hands so that all the pieces are moistened. Bake the pudding until the top is golden brown and the custard is set, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. Serve the pudding hot in individual bowls, with caramel poured over top.