Apples and autumn go together like peas and carrots! This time of year there’s an abundance of freshly picked apples and plenty of recipes to put them to good use. I particularly love this recipe. After all, bread pudding is the ultimate comfort dessert and fresh apples just make it divine.
This recipe is somewhat similar to my equally delicious Buttered Bourbon Bread Pudding that I shared last fall. (It’s worth trying, too. Click here for that recipe.) Outside of the addition of apples, the decadent caramel sauce makes this bread pudding a standout. I used the same caramel sauce recipe that I use to make my tasty Caramel apples.
Next year, I’m hoping I’ll have my first harvest from the golden delicious apple tree that is espaliered in my little potager. You might have read my earlier article on growing flat trees… Espalier that is. So, I’m really amping up my apple recipes in anticipation. (I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.)
You likely have most of the ingredients for this recipe already in your fridge and pantry. And the foundation is a great crusty bread… My grandmother never let anything go to waste, especially not so fresh bread.
Here are the ingredients for Caramel Apple Bread Pudding:
1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced and cubed
3 1/2 cups milk
4 cups apples, diced (sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon) Note: I used 2 large Gala apples for this recipe.
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Directions for the Bread Pudding:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the 3 1/2 cups of milk over the bread cubes. Let it set for about 5 minutes.
Dice your apples and place in a separate bowl with cinnamon and sugar. Make sure the apples are well coated.
In a separate bowl combine three eggs beaten, with the sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon.
Pour this mixture over the soaked bread cubes. Fold a few times to incorporate and then add the apples and fold into the mixture.
Pour the bread pudding into a 9″x13″ baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes.
Directions for the Caramel Sauce:
After the bread pudding has baked, you can make this delicious caramel sauce in about 15 minutes. Keep it warm and it will be ready to ladle over a nice thick serving of this warm bread pudding. (It can of course be stored in the fridge and warmed up later, too.)
Combine Sugar, corn syrup and water in a small sauce pan. This is the trickiest part of the entire dessert. Heat the sugar mixture over a medium-high heat. You can stir the sugar, syrup and water together with a spoon at first to help them combine, but once the mixture begins to boil put the spoon down and swirl the sauce pan. Keep a watchful eye on the sugar and keep swirling.
From beginning to end this process is about 15 minutes. I’ve found that it can take anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes to reach the light amber color you want to achieve once the mixture really starts to boil. I actually like this as a really light colored caramel, even lighter than what I use for my caramel apples, so I pull it off the heat as soon as it reaches a really light amber color. (about 10 to 11 minutes of rapid boiling.)
Once it’s reached the light amber color, remove it from the heat and whisk in the cream. Be prepared, it will spit and splatter, just keep whisking. Then add the butter, vanilla and pinch of salt. Continue to whisk to incorporate.
Serve the hot caramel sauce over the warm bread pudding….. and then curly up by the fire. Ahhh…Yes, this might be heaven.