For better or for worse, it seems that fall is officially here. Fall, that bittersweet time of year when courageous souls are still wearing shorts and flip flops, holding on to the fading thoughts of summer and pushing out the thoughts of impending midterms and another winter to come. Luckily, it is during this uncertain time of year that apples come back in season, timed perfectly with the need for ultimate comfort foods.
I am not sure I will ever understand why apples make the most comforting of foods, instead I just embrace the rich smell of cinnamon that swirls around my apartment when I cook them, their crisp sweet-tartness and the buttery sweet goodness that usually encases them. My love for this fruit is endless and I always have some on hand either as a snack or as an ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes. Over time, I have tried to find alternatives to standard crumbles and cobblers, trying to vary them with equally easy and tasty options. Although, there have been some flops along the way, fall makes me a little too “apple happy,” a few winners have come out of the trial and error process.
This apple buttermilk bread pudding is great because it’s easy, it uses up leftovers and its very versatile. Kind of like a baked French toast, this can be served as a dessert, but is also great (if not better) warmed up for breakfast the next day. Scoop a heaping spoonful into a bowl, drizzle it with some maple syrup and warm it up in the microwave. There is no better way to start your day, and no matter how cold it may get in the next few weeks, this comforting dish is sure to keep you feeling cozy and warm.
Apple Buttermilk Bread Pudding
1/2 loaf stale bread (I used half of a 12″ challah), cut into 1” cubes, or 1” pieces
2 3/4 c. buttermilk (or whole milk)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. light brown sugar
For Apple mixture:
4 large apples (peeled, cored and cut into ½“ cubes)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped pecans.
1) Whisk eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the bread, mixing, well to ensure proper absorption. Cover and let it sit in the fridge while you do the rest. 2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 9” metal or glass, baking dish.
3) In a pan over medium heat melt the butter and sugar. Then add the apples and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. Set aside to cool.
4) Take your bread mixture out of the fridge and add half of the cooled apples to it. Pour this mixture into your baking dish.Top the mixture with the remaining apples and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.
5) Take off the foil and bake for another 30 minutes, until it is puffy and golden.
6) Take the pudding out of the oven and sprinkle the pecans and brown sugar on top. Turn on the broiler. Put the pudding back in the oven for 2-4 minutes, until the pecans are toasty and the sugar has caramelized.