I find many foods comforting, but bread pudding is like curling up in a snuggly blankie on a snowy Sunday. I am still experimenting with some of the savory versions, but I am madly in love with this classic sweet version. It gets made in my house when I find a great deal on a day-old loaf at our local bakery and/or have way too many eggs. It is super simple and will win you friends and accolades!
- 1 loaf stale white bread (sourdough is great, challah is amazing, croissant and bagels are yummy, too!)
- 1 apple, peeled and cubed
- 4-5 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk (2% if you have to)
- 1/2 cup sugar (I use turbinado, but any will do)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins (I like to mix golden and purple, but whatever you have. Currents work great!)
- 1 more egg, well beaten
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp whiskey or vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease/butter a large casserole pan (13x9x2 or something like it). Cut the bread into 1-2 inch cubes. I usually cut off the bottom crust because it cooks up too chewy… Toss the bread cubes and the chopped up apple into your baking/casserole dish.
Whisk up the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix it well, then pour it evenly over the bread/apples. Use your hands to kind of toss the bread in the dish so that every piece is a little soaked in the eggs/milk.
Add the raisins to the top and use your fingers to stir them in a little. Don’t mix too well or they will all sink to the bottom. BUT, if you don’t want to just leave them on top, or they will burn. Aim to get them mostly in the middle, with a few on top.
Bake this beautiful pudding for about 45 minutes. It should be a little crispy brown on the edges and completely cooked in the middle. While it’s cooking, spend a few minutes to make the world’s most exquisite sugar sauce ever.
When you are ready to eat, drizzle LIBERALLY over each portion. I really can’t imagine this bread pudding without the sauce. I’ve heard that a commercial brand caramel sauce is also good, but the whiskey sauce is heaven…
HOW TO MAKE THE SAUCE
For this you need a double boiler. Don’t be intimidated. Most of the time, my double boiler consists of a normal saucepan with 2-inches of water in the bottom with a stainless (or glass) bowl on top. This is legit and free. Let’s assume your’s is like mine. Okay, here’s what you do.
Get that 2 inches of water boiling. Melt the butter into the top of your double boiler. Once the butter is melted, add the powdered sugar and whisk until the sauce is very smooth and does kind of a taffy streaking thing. SLOWLY, and evenly, add the egg to this buttery, sugary potion. Keep whisking and whisking until the sauce starts to have a translucent quality – about 3 minutes. Add the whiskey (or if you don’t like whiskey, a little vanilla extract) and take off the heat. Keep whisking for another half a minute.
Set the sauce aside or, if you aren’t eating right away, put it into an airtight container and refrigerate for later. It reheats surprisingly well in the microwave, so definitely include it in your leftovers. It’s a wonderful dessert, but also a super indulgent breakfast. After our first eating, I just portion the leftovers out and divide the sauce evenly among the GladWare. This is one you don’t have to over think 🙂