It’s a little chilly in the apartment this evening and my roommate Marianella and I were chatting about what to do with all the delicious Fuji apples we have in the fridge. She began telling me about her life in Norway and how her then husband Thor (such a cool name) used to make a wonderful bread pudding of sliced bread, eggs, milk and apples so I decided to riff on that and come up with my own version. Not only would we get a dessert but the apartment would warm up with the use of the oven.
I whipped together some eggs, evaporated milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in a kind of French Toast custard and set that aside. I peeled, cored and sliced apples then dredged them in cinnamon and dotted the mixture with bits of good butter. I then pulled out a big loaf of sliced wheat bread that I wasn’t thrilled about eating along with a container of dried apricots I had bought the other day at the little Armenian store on Broadway, turned on the oven and checked out my pile of stuff then I began to assemble it. At first, I wasn’t completely thrilled with this recipe and changed it a few times before I got it right.
Apple & Dried Apricot Bread Pudding
6-8 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups dried apricots, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup sugar
Sliced wheat bread (preferably stale), cubed
2 cans evaporated milk
2 tbsps, cinnamon plus more to mix in with the apples
1 dash nutmeg
Mix apples with cinnamon to taste and dot with butter. Pour into a pan and sautee until caramelized. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the milk, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Mix the cubed bread into the egg mixture until it is all coated. Let sit for about five to ten minutes then fold in the caramelized apples, chopped dried apricots and raisins into the bread.
Butter a large and deep baking dish and scoop in the bread mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour, removing the foil the last ten minutes to brown. The pudding should be crispy on top and creamy inside.
Serve hot with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. I don’t sweeten the cream, just add a dash of nutmeg and vanilla as I whisk it.