Our dear friend Ryan Yantis, his wife Sharon and two daughters came over to teach me how to make bread pudding. Ryan is a retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army, a survivor of the Sept 11, 2001 Pentagon attack, and an expert in crisis management and media relations. Or simply stated, Ryan is the guy you want in your corner during an emergency. Luckily that night the worst thing that happened was putting too much parmesan cheese in the risotto.
I learned that bread pudding is versatile, easy, and forgiving. Just remember the ratio of 2 eggs for every cup of milk, use any leftover bread, and flavoring of your choice, and bake! Ryan showed me how to “fluff” the bread so that the top gets a bit crunchy which adds to the texture. He has even made it with pineapple, and chocolate chips. It reheats well in the microwave for breakfast the next morning. I hope you add this to your holiday menu.
Apple & Cinnamon Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Glaze
- Bread Pudding
- 7 large whole eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cups whipping heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pan French/other firm bread; 1 ½-inch pieces app. 10 cups
- ½ cup raisins if desired
- 1/4 diced Honey Crisp Apple, if desired
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine melted
- Whiskey Sauce
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup bourbon
Heat oven to 325°F.
Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch glass baking dish with butter, shortening, or cooking spray. Put bread and raisins into the baking dish.
In large bowl, beat whole eggs and 3/4 cup sugar with wire whisk until well blended. Beat in milk, heavy cream, vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon until well blended. Pour over bread pieces and the raisins. Let stand 20 minutes.
In small bowl, stir 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and finely chopped apple until well blended and apple is coated with the sugar-cinnamon. Brush top of bread mixture with melted 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with apple cinnamon-sugar. Lightly press remaining apple/cinnamon/sugar mix over mixture in baking dish. Bake uncovered 55 to 65 minutes or until top is puffed and light golden brown (center will jiggle slightly). Cool 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, melt 1/2 cup (stick) butter over low heat; do not simmer. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Mix water and 1 egg in small bowl; stir into butter until blended. Stir in 1 cup sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil; remove from heat. Stir in bourbon, a tablespoon at a time to taste. If added too much, too fast, the sauce will break. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serve sauce over warm bread pudding. Store remaining dessert and sauce covered in refrigerator.