October 11, 2013

Apple And Calvados Bread Pudding: A Normandy Take On A New Orleans Classic

Apple Bread Pudding

It's amazing just how many apples two little apple trees can produce. And when you've got kilos and kilos of apples falling to the ground every day, time is definitely not your friend! If left for even a few hours, the birds and/or insects will get them. Then, if you're like me, you'll feel guilty for letting them go to waste. (not that feeding the local wildlife is a "waste," but I think you know what I mean)
There's only one thing to do - come up with some creative ways to use them up.
And fast.

I tried some new recipes, like apple clafoutis (delicious!), and served sautéed apples alongside savory dishes such as pork roast and magret de canard. We ate apples with Camembert and I discovered that this simple recipe for apple compote is perfection.
And I made bread pudding.

Les Pommes

Bread pudding is one of those desserts that I scoffed at when I was in my 20's.
I figured that if I was going to bother having dessert, it needed to be a heck of a lot more interesting than a mixture of day old bread, cream and eggs. Ah the naïveté of youth!
The year I turned 30 we moved to New Orleans and it didn't take me long to see the error of my ways. Bread pudding has been one of my favorite desserts ever since.

So with all of these apples lying around, I decided to adapt my old New Orleans Bread Pudding recipe a bit. Usually I add pecans, if I can find them, and the raisins are soaked in dark rum. Since I was adding apples to the recipe, I replaced the rum with Calvados and left out the pecans.
It was wonderful!

Apple and Calvados Bread Pudding
Serves 10 to 12

  • 3/4 cup raisins (I use golden)
  • enough Calvados to just cover the raisins
  • 1 pound of brioche, or soft egg bread such as challah
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half & half  
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 medium sized, tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1. Soak the raisins in the Calvados for at least 1 hour before proceeding with the recipe. Overnight is better if you have the time. 
    2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    3. Tear the bread into small pieces and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the cream and milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. 
    4. While the bread is soaking, peel and core the apples, then cut into a 1/2 inch dice.
    5. Stir the bread, milk and cream with a wooden spoon and add the eggs, sugar, Calvados and raisins, diced apples, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Stir until everything is well mixed.
    6. Pour melted butter into a 13" x 9" glass or porcelain baking dish.
    7. Spoon the bread mixture over the melted butter and smooth the top.
    8. Bake for 1 hour, until firm.
    9. Cool and serve.

    Bread pudding is a heady, rich dessert and I think it is delicious served just as is. However, many people like to drizzle it with Whiskey Sauce, which I think is a bit like gilding the lily.
    But New Orleans food is decadent, so if you want to gild, feel free!

    Apple Bread Pudding

    More apple recipes:
    French Apple Cake
    Baked Apple Crunch
    Bourbon Caramel Apple Ice Cream (Croque-Camille)
    Long and Slow Apples (Dorie Greenspan via Eat.Live.Travel.Write.)
    Heirloom Apple Salad (101 Cookbooks)

    Pin It


    Awena Robert said...

    Sounds very nice. I come from Brittany and never tried Calvados, but know about cider! Enjoy your lovely cake.

    Jacqui said...

    My husband made it and it was as delicious as it looks! Thanks

    Katie Zeller said...

    Apple clafoutis?!? Got to try that! And the bread pudding - I'm a convert too.

    Jennifer Greco said...

    You should try it!

    Thanks for letting me know. So glad you enjoyed it!

    It was really delicious!