So I’ll be the first to fess up about bread pudding. I never liked it really. Anytime I ever tried it, it was at one of those buffet places and not only was it visually unappealing but the taste was just mush. Yes, I just made the 7-year-old-girl-squinched-up-face. To me, it just didn’t seem to make sense. It’s bread… as a pudding? It just wasn’t right. However Mr. Fantabulous was a fan so I had to try and figure out how to make it my own. Plus more importantly, I needed to make it so *I* would like it.
Well for some reason I had an excess of bread (trust me, it’s not a bad thing) and since I hate wasting stuff I figured it was perfect timing to try my hand at this. Now most bread puddings I’ve seen out have a custard base with raisins in it. However I hate custard. I mean almost as much as mayo. Well wait, let me clarify that. I LOVE frozen authentic custard – there’s actually a place about 25 minutes from my house that still makes true frozen custard made with eggs that is THE BOMB! Literally we would go at least once a week to get some. Their chocolate chip custard and peanut butter fudge is to die for! We go there so often that the owner knows exactly what we want – banana split for Mr. Fantabulous with 2 cherries and a waffle cone with half chocolate chip and half peanut butter fudge for me. Now one would think I eat mine and he eats his BUT… yeah not in my marriage and being married to the proverbial bottomless pit! This necessarily isn’t a bad thing. I eat about a quarter of my stuff and he finishes mine and his. My thighs are thankful of this to say the least
But I digress… back to this bread pudding thing. Since I didn’t want that cucka custardy filling I went with a more creamy and silky mixture. I could have gone with raisins but I wanted to really go outside of the box (though you could easily put in raisins if you wanted) and ended up going with apples and caramel. Next time I make this I’ll add the raisins to the apples and caramel however I think I’ll soak them in some rum first just to give it a more boozy taste. Plus I love the taste of rum raisin which is odd as I don’t like the taste of rum by itself.
I’m thinking mission accomplished on this dish! I got the texture and taste that I fell in love with plus the vanilla butterscotch sauce ROCKS!!! I was so thrilled with the outcome. It was so tender and creamy. The apples were soft but not mushy and the caramel was heavenly! Plus yes, no custard! LOL
Now I know there are those of you that aren’t bread pudding fans either but give this one a shot. It’s unlike those that they serve say at the buffets. Now to be fair, I’ve never ordered it at a restaurant as a dessert. Maybe it’s different there but when I’ve read those descriptions it’s more custard-like and again, I don’t do custard (well okay, unless it’s frozen custard).
So what do you think? Think this could convert you? Now the ONLY thing I would change with this is after I poured the butterscotch sauce on top I would have added some vanilla bean ice cream or OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH… OMG!!! Butter Pecan Ice Cream!!!
Okay.. my wheels are turning on the next flavor combination. Give me your flavor combinations you would go with!Print
- 12 slices day old brioche or white bread, cut into cubes (crusts discarded)
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
- 2 gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup caramel pieces
- 1 Tbl soft butter, unsalted
- Preheat oven to 375F with the rack in the middle.
- Butter a 3-4qt baking dish.
- Make the bread pudding by whisking together in a large bowl the eggs and half and half until frothy.
- Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds.
- Whisk until well combined.
- Add in the bread and gently mix just to coat.
- Add in the apples and caramel pieces and fold to combine being careful not to break up the bread.
- Gently pour the mixture into the baking dish. You want to be sure you have about an inch of room above as this will inflate.
- Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drippings.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top has a slight give when pressed down, the apples are soft and the center is set.
- While the bread pudding is baking make the sauce by adding the brown sugar, flour and half and half to a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- Whisk together until it begins to bubble and thicken to where it coats the back of a spoon, ~7-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Drizzle over the bread pudding while both are hot.
- Top with Vanilla Bean or Butter Pecan Ice Cream.