Thursday, February 2, 2017

Apple and Walnut Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Cider Sauce
apple-walnut filling
1C roasted walnut halves
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. Fuji, pippin or apples of choice, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. apple cider
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon

1 (1 lb.) loaf challah bread or Italian bread (crusts removed), cut into
  ¾-inch cubes
3 large eggs
3/4C firmly packed brown sugar
2C cream
1C milk
1C apple cider
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. nutmeg

Cinnamon-cider sauce
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1-1/3C firmly packed brown sugar
2C apple cider
2 tsp. cinnamon

vanilla or cinnamon ice cream

For the filling:  Heat the butter in a sauté pan and sauté the apples until well coated.  Add the apple cider, brown sugar and cinnamon and
sauté until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the walnuts and set 
aside.  Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and fill with bread cubes.  Add the apple-walnut mixture and mix well, distributing evenly.

For the custard:  Whisk together the eggs and brown sugar.  Whisk in the cream, milk, cider, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and apples and toss well.  Let soak for 20 minutes.  Flip the bread cubes over with a spatula so that the drier bread on top ends up on the bottom.  Let soak an additional 20 minutes if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake the pudding for 45 to 55 minutes, or until puffed and golden and the custard is set.  Let pan sit for 15 minutes before serving.

For the sauce:  Bring the butter, brown sugar, apple cider and cinnamon to a boil in a pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is bubbly, syrupy and reduced to 1-1/2 cups.

To serve, top slices of warm bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a general drizzle of cider sauce.
MAKES:  8 – 10 servings

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