Apple, Cranberry + Currant Bread Pudding

apple cranberry bread pudding

I hate to admit that up until last weekend, I had only ever tried a bite or two of bread pudding in my whole life. Not for any particular reason – I like French toast + I like custards so a hybrid of the two should be something right up my alley… and it is! It’s sweet and savory at the same time and it’s an awesome thing to try this fall if you never have before. It’s easy to make and the leftovers hold up so well in the fridge!

When I set out to pick the ingredients for my bread pudding, I knew I wanted sourdough bread as it’s my favorite. The problem is that you need slightly stale bread and you should have seen the look on the woman in the bakery’s face when I asked if she had any less fresh bread, lol. Typically there is a fruit + nut combination that gets tossed with the bread and then that gets a creamy custard mixture poured over it. I knew I wanted to use almonds + cranberries seemed like a no brainer for fall but I added some currants to the mix because they pack so much flavor into such a tiny package (see them on my latest favorite things list). The custard got a nice kick of flavor from the addition of fall essentials (pumpkin spice mixed with some extra nutmeg + cinnamon) and I even soaked my berries in some apple pie moonshine straight from Tennessee for good measure! I chose jersey mac apples because the first crop of the season popped up at our farmer’s market but I think something tart like granny smith apples would be great too! Top it off with some decadent homemade caramel + I was in heaven.bread pudding ingredients

First thing you’ll need is about ¾ loaf day-old, slightly stale sourdough bread loaf. As I mentioned, ours was not stale so you can always throw it in the oven on the lowest temp to dry it out a bit or just use fresh bread and allow it to soak longer. Tear the bread into small bite sized pieces. Toss the bread in a large bowl with ½ cup chopped almonds, 1/3 cup dried cranberries + 1/3 cup currants.  As I mentioned before, I soaked my cranberries + currants in some apple pie moonshine before adding them, you can skip this step but bourbon would be delicious also!

bread pudding step 1

Next you’ll make the custard mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Combine 3 large eggs, 2 cups half + half, a pinch of salt, a tsp of pure vanilla extract, ½ tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, a tiny bit of fresh grated nutmeg, ½ cup light brown sugar + ¼ cup turbinado sugar. Whisk everything together until smooth. You could swap out the turbinado for white granulated sugar and dark brown sugar for the light if you prefer something more intense!

bread pudding step 2

bread pudding step 3

Pour the custard mixture over the bread and allow it to soak in for about 25 minutes until a majority of the liquid is absorbed, there will be some left don’t worry!

Carefully scoop the mixture along with some of the liquid into buttered ramekins (I used 4 eight ounce ones and 1 larger 16 ounce one) and put all of them into a larger pan. Fill the pan with boiling water about half way up the ramekins, this water bath will ensure even cooking.

ban marie

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes until you can push on the bread and the custard does not come up as liquid, test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

bread pudding out of the oven

Carefully remove from the water bath and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving, these are great served still warm though! You can dust them with a little powdered sugar and serve as is but I would definitely suggest making my homemade caramel sauce and serving it with that! Get the step-by-step tutorial on how to make that here or fast forward to 4:25 into this video to watch how make it

Pouring Caramel on Bread Pudding

Apple, Cranberry + Currant Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Serves 6

For the bread pudding:

3/4 loaf slightly stale sourdough bread loaf, ripped into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

3 large eggs

2 cups half + half

a pinch of salt

a tsp of pure vanilla extract

½ tsp pumpkin spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

a tiny bit of fresh grated nutmeg

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup turbinado sugar

For the caramel sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp light corn syrup

4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

1 tbsp coarse kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream, room temp

Toss the bread in a large bowl with almonds, cranberries + currants.  Next you’ll make the custard mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Combine eggs, half + half, salt, vanilla extract, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, t brown sugar + turbinado sugar. Whisk everything together until smooth. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and allow it to soak in for about 25 minutes until a majority of the liquid is absorbed, there will be some left don’t worry! Carefully scoop the mixture along with some of the liquid into buttered ramekins (I used 4 eight ounce ones and 1 larger 16 ounce one) and put all of them into a larger pan. Fill the pan with boiling water about half way up the ramekins, this water bath will ensure even cooking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes until you can push on the bread and the custard does not come up as liquid, test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Carefully remove from the water bath and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving, these are great served still warm though!

Next make the caramel. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add in the sugar, 2 tbsp of water and corn syrup.  Use a spatula to stir these occasionally until the sugar has dissolved (the granules of sugar will no longer be visible) and it slowly comes to a boil. Set the spatula aside now as the mixture will be too hot to stir, we’ll instead be swirling the pan to stir. Cook the mixture until it turns a dark amber color, brushing down the side of the pan with the brush dipped in water after each swirl to prevents crystals from forming. Remove it from the heat once it’s reached desired color and CAREFULLY (it will splatter up) add in butter, salt, vanilla and cream. Whisk until smooth, transfer to a bowl to cool completely.

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