Wow, if you could only taste this amazing apple dessert right now. It has a layer of soft cinnamon apples that are topped with bread cubes and a vanilla custard mixture, baked until creamy, and served with gooey dulce de leche or caramel sauce. A great recipe to use leftover holiday breads, it's incredibly comforting and just utterly delicious!
Nutrition is given for bread pudding without the sauce.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white granulated or light brown sugar
- 3/4 pound (4-5 large apples) Granny Smith apples
- Optional: 1/3 cup raisins/dried cranberries/chopped walnuts or pecans can be added to the apple layer
- 1 pound Pandoro bread, Finnish pulla, brioche, or challah, homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream (double cream also works)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche, for serving (see Notes below for other links)
- Have ready a rectangular 11x7-inch ovenproof dish in which you will serve the pudding. I like a ceramic dish, but glass also works. Remember the bread pudding will be served directly from the baking dish, so choose one that you like to put on the table.
For the apples:
- Peel, core, and cut the apples in wedges.
- Choose one of the two options below:
Raw apples: mix the wedges in a bowl with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Heavily butter the dish (use the amount in the ingredients) and arrange the apples.
Partially cooked apples: melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sprinkle sugar on top. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to caramelize here and there. Do not let them turn too dark or too soft. Remove from heat, add the cinnamon and lemon juice and arrange them in the prepared dish.
- Trim the pandoro bread and cut it into big chunks or cubes.
- Arrange the bread on top of the apples. It will be uneven.
- Mix milk, cream, eggs, and egg yolk in a medium bowl or pitcher. Do not beat.
- Pour this mixture slowly over bread, gently pressing down to absorb the liquid.
- Let it soak at room temperature for about 15 minutes, pressing a few times so that the bread absorbs as much of the milk mixture as possible before going into the oven.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180°C.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the crust is golden. Check the inside by lifting the bread with a fork. You don't want liquid, but it's fine if not completely set.
- Let rest for a few minutes on a wire rack.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche. If you want a showstopper dessert, first add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and pour the sauce over it.
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Apples: if you want crunchier apples cut them in thicker wedges (about 6 slices from each half apple) and if you like very cooked fruit I suggest you dice them.
- Topping: you can cut bread cubes or slices. Both ways work, but the former tend to have crunchier parts because they get more exposure as the apple dessert bakes.
- Flavorings: I love cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon because they go so well with lemon, but let your palate decide. Orange, apple pie spice mix, even a dash of cardamom if you're familiar with it also work.
- Add-ins: there are several ingredients that can be added to the apple layer such as raisins, walnuts, pecans, cranberries. Use 1/4 or 1/3 cup (total) of one of them or a mix.
- Serving it: this is the ultimate apple dessert to serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle on top. A delicious fall dessert! I usually drizzle some dulce de leche sauce or caramel on top of the bread pudding, directly in the baking dish before serving.
- Dulce de leche: I have the best dulce de leche recipe in this blog, but you can also buy it online. I like Dulce de Leche Cachafaz warmed before using it so it's more fluid. You can also buy a dulce de leche sauce like La Lechera.
- Caramel: you can buy online the topping like Ghirardelli caramel flavored sauce, or make your own following this salted caramel recipe or this homemade caramel recipe.
- Serving Size: 1/8
- Calories: 374
- Sugar: 19.7 g
- Sodium: 252.9 mg
- Fat: 16.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 47.8 g
- Protein: 9 g
- Cholesterol: 131.3 mg
Keywords: apple bread pudding