There are very few things I make specifically for myself, when it feels like you are feeding a small Army it just doesn’t seem to make sense to waste any time making something that just one or two people will eat. Bread pudding, also known as “poor mans pudding” is one of those things I just need to make for myself from time to time. I really enjoy bread puddings and most desserts that don’t punch you in the face with sweetness. With homemade whole wheat sourdough, and a light hand with the sugar, this bread pudding borders on a savory dressing or “stuffing.” It’s soulful, satisfying and best yet, it’s a treat that makes use of leftover stale bread. Sometimes you just need this kind of old fashioned, soft, soul soothing goodness in your life. I didn’t grow up with it, there’s no long lost memories or recipes I can think back to, I just really adore bread custard and stuffing-esque dishes.
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
Don’t use white bread … seriously, don’t do it. The tang from the sourdough and the nuttiness from whole grains makes this bread pudding above all of the rest. The apples are great too. This gets even better the longer it sits, I prefer it room temperature with maple whipped cream. If you’re really in the mood to indulge, I highly recommend this whiskey caramel sauce.
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 1-2 apples peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup sucanat or raw sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, half and half or heavy cream
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch Of Salt
- 8 ounces whole wheat sourdough bread (4 or 5 cups cubed)
- 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped toasted pecans (optional)
- Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. (350 if you want it a little dryer)
- In a medium-large mixing bowl combine eggs, milk, cinnamon and salt.
- Add bread cubes to the milk and egg mixture and gently toss to moisten. (set aside to soak)
- In a 10″ skillet melt butter over medium heat.
- Add diced apples and saute for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. (You want about 1 heaping cup of diced apple)
- Add raw sugar to the pan. Stir the apples with the sugar and butter until the sugar has melted. Reduce the heat to prevent burning.
- When the sugar has melted into a thick syrup and it is no longer grainy, remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- Once the caramel apple mixture has cooled slightly, stir it into the bread, milk and egg mixture.
- Add the nuts and dried fruit to this mixture.
- Wipe the skillet clean and melt additional butter in the pan if it is needed. If you prefer, you can use a greased baking dish or individual ramekins. (If your cast iron skillet is well seasoned it should naturally be non-stick for the most part)
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the custard has set. If pressed on it should still be soft and springy.
This recipe can be doubled and prepared in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Individual frozen ramekins are nice for single serve, ready made desserts.