Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Bourbon Apple Topping
It is apple picking season in Pennsylvania and we have been taking full advantage of the "fruits" of our labor. Little man's favorite breakfast involves anything mixed with apples so there has been lot of applesauce freezing going on in this house, but for the more adult pallet I thought I would try something different.
First let's start with some apple picking tips.
Roll the apple upwards off the branch with a little twist; rather than pulling down away from the tree. Pulling down will also remove the bud that becomes next year's apple.
Do not bend or shake the branches, which could damage the branches or cause the apples to fall. If an apple you are trying to pick does fall or others on the tree while you are picking go ahead and pick those apples up; they are fine. However, do not pick up apples that you did not see fall.
Never drop or toss apples into the bag or box. Prevent bruising by gently placing them in your bag, box or basket.
Check out your local farms picking schedule to determine which apples are in season and choose apples that are firm and bruise free. The color of the apple can vary from dark green, to yellow, pink, orange, bright red, dark red or a combination depending on the variety of apple.
Wait until you are ready to use the apple to wash it. This will help preserve the freshness. I love Rebel Greens Fruit & Veggie wash to remove surface pesticides, waxes, and chemicals. It is safe and natural and rinses clean off the fruit or vegetable surface. Available on Amazon and some local grocery stores.
Keep your apples cool after picking to maximize freshness; ideally in a cool basement or cellar. Alternatively the fruit crisper drawer of your refrigerator is a substitute.
Now back to the dessert. A basic bread pudding is a bread-based dessert generally made from day old bread with milk/cream, eggs and butter. Other ingredients vary based on the intent of the bread pudding. My personal favorite and our goal today is a sweet bread pudding; unintentionally today's recipe also turned into a delicious breakfast recipe...think French Toast and Fried Apples kicked up a notch with some Bourbon.
Let's get started. Gather your Ingredients!!
4 Slices of Cinnamon Bread (cubed)
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
2 Tbsp Melted Butter
2 Tbsp Sugar
Pinch Sea Salt
2 Tsp Bourbon
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Granny Smith Apples cored, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
Pinch Sea Salt
2 Tsp Bourbon
1/4 Cup Toasted Walnuts
Prep your Bread Pudding: Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare an 8" iron skillet by coating with butter. (If you don't have an iron skillet pick up this set on Amazon; they will be a great addition to your kitchen supplies.) Toss bread cubes into the skillet. Whisk milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, salt and bourbon and pour over bread. Allow the bread to soak for 30 minutes in the liquid. Bake 30-45 minutes until golden brown and set.
Prep Bourbon Apples: Melt butter in skillet on stove top over medium heat. Add apples and simmer until firm yet tender. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and allow to simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Add Bourbon and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Prep Walnuts: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toss in walnuts and stir frequently until fragrant and deeper brown color is achieved. This should take about five minutes.
Assemble: Scoop bread pudding into dish, top with apples and sprinkle of walnuts. Optional: Add ice cream or whipped cream for the win!