Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding

28 Sep

bread puddingI am not normally a huge fan of bread pudding.  I also don’t believe in putting bread or crackers in soup – who wants soggy crackers?  However, this recipe is decadent – the bread is not dry, but not soggy, the coffee adds depth of flavor, and the bourbon sauce is rich and gooey and delicious.   This is a great recipe for company, because you can make it the day ahead, and pop it in the oven right before you serve dinner.

I made homemade Challah to use in the bread pudding.  If you’re going to bother with the recipe, don’t skimp on good, rich bread.  Brioche would work well also. 

I have had a can of sweetened condensed milk in my cupboard since last Christmas.  It has been driving me crazy.  I realize the shelf life is nearly infinite, but I just have this thing about ingredients sitting around without a plan or purpose for nearly a year.  Anyway, I substituted the Christmas can for the milk and sugar.   I like sweet, but my bread pudding bordered on too sweet, so feel free to cut back on the sugar.   Next time, assuming no rogue cans of SCM are available, I’ll use 3/4 c sugar. 

The sauce looks best as soon as its finished.  I made it a day ahead, and it turns grainy in the refrigerator.  You need to heat it up slowly and stir frequently to get the silky texture back. 

I based my recipe on this one from Food Network.

Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding

  • 2 lb loaf Challah or brioche, cut into bite-size cubes (leave the crust on unless it is very thick or dark)
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (use a tart, firm apple, like Granny Smith)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 – 1 c sugar (see intro)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 1 /2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c brewed coffee

Whisk together eggs, sugar, spices, vanilla, milk, and coffee.  In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes, apples, and eggs mixture together.  Pour into a 2″ deep greased baking dish.   Cover and refrigerate several hours, or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake 45 minutes, or until top is toasty brown.  If the top is browning and the filling isn’t set, cover with foil to finish baking.  Serve with warm bourbon sauce, recipe follows. 

Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 c bourbon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg

Heat bourbon in a small, heavy saucepan to boiling and boil gently until reduced by half.  Remove from the pan.  Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and mix well. 

Put the butter mixture in the small saucepan, and stir until melted.  If your pan is still hot from the bourbon, this won’t take long, if not, put the pan over very low heat.  Add the bourbon back to the pan, and mix well.   Cook the mixture over the lowest heat possible for two hours, stirring occasionally.

5 Responses to “Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding”

  1. Dad September 30, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    I agree completely about putting crackers or bread into soup. What’s the point? You have soggy bread or crackers and the soup is compromised. I never understood why people did this.

    The bourbon pudding recipe is quite appealing. You can even simplify it by removing all of the other ingredients and just sipping on the bourbon! (I realize that this may not appeal to everybody, but one must be creative. ) It’s also good to have some bourbon around the house–a practice that I follow. What brand of bourbon do you use?

    p.s. Pie is excellent!

    • Kate October 2, 2009 at 1:19 am #

      Due to budgetary restraints, I had to purchase a cheap bottle of bourbon. I am accepting donations, any variety of liquidity is acceptable.

  2. Elissa October 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    So glad to see all the posts since the last time I checked!

    I’m not a huge fan of bread pudding either (though I do like crackers in soup), but I think I’ll give this a try soon. I do like bourbon…

    I’ve been thinking of making homemade crackers. Have you given that a try?

    I linked to you on green moon rising. Thanks for the link here!


    • Kate October 2, 2009 at 1:19 am #

      I haven’t tried crackers. They just don’t excite me. Seems like a lot of work for something that doesn’t involve chocolate.

  3. Dad October 7, 2009 at 1:10 am #

    I can certainly help with the bourbon provisioning.

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