This post is sponsored by Crunch Time Apple Growers. The opinions and text are all mine.
How fortunate I was to have a small bucketful of SnapDragons left. And again, as delicious as these babies are straight from the fridge all cold and crunchy, or as perfect as they are woven into the layers of a seasonal salad that’s loaded up with spinach, cranberries, chicken and feta, I knew it was time to add a little heat. I was in the mood for homey and nostalgic…
Bread pudding! Of course!
Now, this is not a dessert we ate growing up. Don’t get me wrong – Mom was on it when it came to desserts. Chocolate cake, peanut butter cookies, lemon meringue pie, rum cake – you get the picture – we were never at a loss for sweet treats – however – Mom is a real, shall we say, texture girl. And for her, the thought of soaking bread in a sweet custard, rendering it well, a little bit squashy, would never fly. Ever. Even though it cooks into the most luxurious French toasty soft and cinnamony comforting plate of goodness – it was never going to happen.
And because of that, I think I too was a little bit afraid of it until I had no choice but to try it.
I was invited for a girls’ weekend in the Adirondack’s some year’s ago. Three friends and I packed up our gear and outdoorsy clothes for an autumn weekend that proved beyond fun. There was hiking, boating, kayaking and a silly board game that created so much laughter my side still hurts; and of course, food – amazing food.
We all contributed a portion of the meal. I brought my favorite cranberry pecan cracker spread aka Thanksgiving on a cracker (thank you, Karen!), the others filled in the pieces with good wine and hearty sides, while our host took care of the entree and of course dessert.
Enter – bread pudding.
Since I’m sharing a bread pudding recipe today I probably don’t need to tell you how much I loved it. Actually, make that Loved with a capital L.
I used Italian bread today, though you could use any of your favorites, and I kept the crusts for a little more ‘texture’ (Mom would be happy – nahhhh) but this dessert using my favorite SnapDragon apples makes for one special holiday treat.
And speaking of treats… Use the Rafflecopter below the recipe to enter and get a kick start on your holiday shopping! The giveaway runs until November 22, there will be 3 winners, each winning a $200 gift card, apples, an apple slicer and an apron. How perfect is that?
If you’re a lover of French toast or cozy cooking, apples and maple or delicious food…
This one’s for you!
- Apples and Maple Bread Pudding
- 1 pound loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 large SnapDragon apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups milk
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spread bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly golden and dry, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 3 Tbsp. butter. Add the apples and ¼ cup of each sugar to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden and softened, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cinnamon.
- Remove from the heat and cook until the sauce is syrupy, about 1 minute.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and remaining sugar(s).
- Add the maple syrup into the custard and stir to combine.
- Add the bread and apples and toss until evenly coated.
- Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard.
- Melt the 3 remaining tablespoons of butter.
- Brush an 8x11 baking pan with 1 Tbsp. butter.
- Add the bread pudding and drizzle the remaining butter on top.
- Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is golden.
- In the meantime, prepare whipped cream.
- Combine cinnamon and vanilla with heavy whipping cream in a medium sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Remove bread pudding from oven. Let cool slightly then top with a swirl of maple syrup.
- Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.