Apple bread pudding is a seasonal star for the fall and winter holidays - a totally irresistible crowd pleaser. It's savory enough to offer for breakfast or brunch, but sweet enough to drizzle with salted caramel sauce for dessert. Be sure to properly prepare the apples so they don't sink to the bottom of the bread pudding. Thinly sliced apples stay integrated throughout the bread cubes, and the result is a perfectly layered bread pudding bursting with apple flavor in every bite.
3mediumapplesquartered, cored, and thinly sliced, then chopped
½cpacked light brown sugar
Salted Caramel Sauce
1cpacked light brown sugar
Heat the oven to 250°. Grease a 9” x 13” casserole dish with butter.
Dice the bread into 2” cubes and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and baked until dried. The cubes are ready when they’re firm and dry, but not toasted.
Melt the butter in a 10” skillet over medium high heat. Add the apples and saute until soft, 7-8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the sautéed apples and dried bread cubes and gently toss.
Pour the bread and apple mixture into prepared casserole dish. Cover with foil and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°Transfer the foil covered casserole dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, until the bread pudding is golden brown on top and puffed. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes; it will deflate.
While the bread pudding makes, prepare the caramel sauce. Combine the brown sugar, butter and heavy cream in a small sauce-pot over medium heat. Whisk frequently until the butter melts and the ingredients meld together. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sauce transforms from grainy to smooth and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Slice the bread pudding into 8-10 squares, drizzled with caramel sauce, and enjoy immediately.
Use brioche or challah bread for a sweeter bread pudding; use sourdough or french bread for a more savory version.
Slice the apples thinly, instead of into chunks or cubes. This will help them sautee quickly, plus they won't sink to the bottom of the custard.
Be sure to chill until the bread has completely absorbed the custard to achieve the right texture - otherwise you'll end up with bits of custard baked atop the bread.
Drizzle with salted caramel sauce for dessert, or use maple syrup and powdered sugar for a seasonal twist on french toast casserole.