Today, I decided to clean out the freezer. Figured a few items could use labels before I forgot why I saved them. One item I uncovered was crust from challah from when my grandparents visited. While they stayed with us, they said I outdid myself with cooking. Made a delicious pasta, chocolate chip cookies, and a creme brulee inspired french toast that I uncovered at Whole Foods many moons ago.
As I was trimming the crusts off the challah, my grandmother suggested that I save them. I tossed them in a freezer bag and didn’t think about them again until yesterday when I was going through the freezer. I found myself with leftover sliced apples and challah crusts. What to make? Why, bread pudding of course. I pulled out my trusty Best Recipe Cookbook and with a few tweaks made this wonderful treat.
Recipe for Rich Apple Bread Pudding with Crunchy Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
Source: Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe Cookbook , note this recipe has been modified from original
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
¾ cup sugar
5 cups milk (I used non-fat milk as it is what I had on hand)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about ½ loaf) challah, sliced 3/8 inch thick and cut into 1 ½ inch
cubes (about 8 cups)
2 cups thinly sliced apples
½ cup currants
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1. FOR THE TOPPING: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl
2. FOR THE PUDDING: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
3. Whisk the eggs, yolk, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk in the milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt. Stir in 6 cups of the bread cubes; mix thoroughly to moisten. Let stand 20 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the remaining 2 cups bread cubes on top, pushing them down gently to partially submerge. Brush the exposed bread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the topping. Bake until the pudding turns deep golden brown, is beginning to rise up the sides of the baking dish, and jiggles very slightly at the center when shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until set but still warm, about 45 minutes. Serve as is or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or coconut gelato.
I served a scoop of this with some coconut gelato, from guess where? Yup, the freezer.
D said, “you really have to stop baking.” Guess that means it was good. 😉