I’ve said before, and will probably say again because I’m getting old and like redundancy, that I used to have a love/hate relationship with bread pudding. Back before the world grew so much smaller (or larger depending on ones perspective) with the internet, recipes for bread pudding consisted of stale white bread, soaked in a custard base of plain milk. Raisins and cinnamon were usually added and then it was baked. British nursery food to the max. Great thing to feed a small child who likes bland or an invalid or say, someone with no taste buds who is also blind and can’t see the mushy mess in their bowl. The rest of us however would probably prefer something with a little oomph to it, some flavor, more than just soggy bread. And nowadays you can find whatever kind of bread pudding trips your trigger, including savory ones for that matter. But I prefer the sweet kinds for the most part.
So, being the time of year it is, I wanted to make one that fits the season and the flavors people love this time of year. If I do say so myself, I outdid myself with this one. This is sweet but not too sweet, crispy at the edges, covered in delicious satiny caramel as well as caramel bits inside plus tart sauteed apples all through it. This is damn good! It makes a ton though (you have to remember I have teen boys lol) so cut it in half if you’re not feeding a small country. I got a 2.5 quart baking dish and 3 ramekins from this. When I invent, I invent big lol.
You know the drill… 🙂
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
- 8 large apples, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks (I used Braeburn apples)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 loaf Kings Brand Hawaiian Bread, cut into about one inch pieces
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 jar ( 12.25 ounces) caramel topping (or you can make homemade caramel sauce I simply went the easy route this time)
- 1 bag Kraft caramel bits
- In a large pan, melt the butter. Add in the apple chunks and over medium heat, stir to blend with the butter. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium low (about 3 on an electric stove). Let the apples cook until soft and about half of them have broken down and turned saucy. Stir in the cinnamon.
- Add the 1/2 cup sugar into the pan. Stir well. Pour in the 1/2 cup cream and cook over medium heat until the cream has cooked into the apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Dump the bread pieces into the cream mixture and stir well. Press down with a spoon to make sure all the bread is submerged in the liquid. Let sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Pour the bag of caramel bits into the bread mixture and stir well.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease either a 3 quart baking dish or a 2.5 quart dish and 3 8 ounce ramekins with butter.
- Pour half the pudding into the prepared pan(s). Cover with half the jar of caramel topping. Cover with another layer of pudding and more caramel sauce. If doing a 3.5 quart dish and ramekins, I’d suggest filling the ramekins first so you don’t end up with too much in the baking dish. Put a 13×9 inch pan half filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Bake pudding at 325 degrees for about 45 to 55 minutes for the ramekins (if you insert a butter knife in the middle and twist it, there should be no liquid there, just a moist pudding) and 90 minutes for the baking dish (same test for doneness)
- Let cool a little and serve warm, drizzled with more caramel sauce. Can also be served chilled. Reheats well in the microwave.
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