Apple Bread Pudding
This recipe calls for all the usual suspects that are found in bread pudding, namely sugar, milk, fresh or dried fruits and some dry bread cubes. I made my apple raisin bread pudding using stale bread that has been sitting on the kitchen counter. The dryness of stale bread is actually an asset in preparing bread pudding, because the dry bread will soak up a good deal of flavor. If you buy a lot of bread and sometimes don't use all of it, this recipe might be helpful for you. It was amazing how fast these little mini loaves of bread pudding disappeared!
Bread pudding to me is a perfect breakfast food, similar to pain perdu, or French toast. I also often enjoy it for le goûter de 4 heures, which in English translates to "4 p.m. snack". As a child, this was my favorite time of the day! My childhood memory of a typical "4 heures" would be a piece of warm baguette with a piece of chocolate, an apple and chocolate milk. If you ask any French kid, that's pretty normal but it doesn't seem to be this way in America. The juice box and supermarket candy bar that most American kids eat (including my little sisters-in-law), definitely don't compare.
Yields: 8 mini-loaves2-½ baguettes, diced
1-½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-½ cups heavy cream
1-¼ cups milk
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons potato flour
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, + extra for greasing the molds
½ cup raisins
1 cup cinnamon spiced tea
¼ cup date glazing (see tips)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the raisins in a small stainless steel bowl. Pour a hot cup of cinnamon spiced tea over the raisins. Soak the raisins for at least 30 minutes. Drain all the liquid. Set the raisins aside.
In a bowl, mix the apples with the ground cinnamon.
Dice the baguettes into about 1 - ½" cubes. Put the diced bread into a food processor and pulse several times; it's okay if there are remaining chunks of bread. The moisture from the dairy liquid will soften the bread. Transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add the heavy cream and milk. Soak for about 15-30 minutes.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
For the custard, beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with half the amount of granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam; the texture of the egg yolks will be thicker. Add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, sift the potato flour.
Combine the egg yolk mixture and the potato flour. Add the bread mixture and butter. Stir well. Add the apples and raisins.
In another bowl, add salt to the egg whites and whisk for about 2 minutes at a low speed. Add the rest of the granulated sugar, increase the speed of your mixer and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes until it forms stiff peaks. Don't over-beat or the texture will become grainy.
Using a silicone spatula, mix 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to soften it. Add the rest of the whipped egg whites and gently fold them in to get an airy batter.
Apply a thin layer of butter (approximately 1 tablespoon total) to 6 mini loaf pans, previously lined with a rectangle of parchment paper. Pour in the bread pudding batter; even it out using a spreader. Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 30-35 minutes. The texture of the bread pudding should be very soft and moist.
When you're ready to serve, drizzle the loaves with a little date syrup. Serve warm.
The recipe yields 8 loaves made in non-stick mini loaf pans; they're perfect for easy release and quick clean-up.
I infused the raisins in cinnamon spiced tea. I used Tazo brand tea.
Depending on your preference, you can use any dairy products such as heavy cream, half and half or milk.
I diluted the date syrup with 1-½ tablespoons of water (If you fancy some Calvados (apple-flavored liqueur) flavor, add a drop to the glaze). I bought date syrup at my local market, but you can also find it online. You can also use it in baklava and other Asian and Middle Eastern desserts.
I didn't have any, but you could add toasted sliced almonds to the bread pudding for more crunch.
Published By: on February 19, 2010.