Friday, March 16, 2007

apple caramel bread pudding

Bread pudding is a favorite topic here at (at least) one cool thing. I have featured a tasty recipe before and mentioned variants in numerous restaurant write-ups. On Wednesday, Dmitry was kind enough to bring some to the office from Tartine and that reminded me that I hadn’t discussed the excellent bread pudding Joy made a while back.

Joy followed the recipe in A Passion for Desserts. Chef, author and James Beard Award Winner Emily Luchetti is known for her fantastic creations at Farallon, and although bread budding might not be her most elegant, it is certainly one of the most delicious.

4 golden delicious apples
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 Cup apple juice
2 Teaspoons lemon juice
1 Cup Sugar; scant
4 1/2 Cups sweet baguette; cut into ¾ inch cubes
1/2 Cup water
1 1/2 Cup heavy cream
3 Cups milk
4 eggs
5 egg yolks
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 350. Peel, core, and slice the apples 1/4 inch thick.

Cook the apple slices, butter, apple and lemon juices, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until the apples are soft (about 15 minutes).

Evenly spread the apple slices into the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart ovenproof baking dish. Place the bread pieces on top of the apples.

Stir together 2/3 cup of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Increase to high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar is amber colored (8-10 minutes). Remove from the heat. Wearing oven mitts, carefully stir about 1/2 cup of the cream into the caramel. Be careful, as the caramel will sputter when the cream is added. If it sputters violently, stop stirring. Let the bubbles subside and then stir again. Carefully stir in the remaining cream. Stir in the milk.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and salt. Whisk a quarter of the caramel cream into the eggs. Add the remaining caramel cream and whisk until incorporated. Pour the caramel cream into the pan over the apples and bread pieces. Using a metal spatula, gently press the bread pieces into the liquid, coating them.

Bake the bread pudding for 35 minutes. While it is baking, stir together the cinnamon, ginger and remaining 1 1/2 T sugar in a small bowl. After 35 minutes, sprinkle the sugar over the top of the bread pudding. Continue baking until the tips of the bread pieces are golden brown and a small knife inserted in the middle comes out coated with thickened custard (about 10 minutes). Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve the bread pudding warm. (via Sur La Table)

Read more of Emily’s wonderful recipes here, here and here.