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Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  Decorating the house, shopping for presents (maybe receiving a few too), singing Christmas carols, watching movies and TV shows that remind me of the holidays, even if I’ve seen them a dozen times or more.  It’s wonderful spending time with the people I love, being filled with the warmth of the Christmas spirit.

But living in Michigan, Christmas means that it’s also winter.  And no matter how much the warmth of the Christmas spirit fills me, the crazy low temperatures, blustery winds, and falling snowflakes make me cold.  I’ve never much liked the cold, but until I can move somewhere warmer, I have to deal with it.

I wanted to make a dessert that would warm the kitchen and me.  I wanted something comforting to combat the winter weather.  After some thought, I realized I wanted bread pudding.  I have to admit I’ve never made bread pudding before this recipe and have only had it a handful of times, most of the time disappointed by it.  Maybe it didn’t have enough flavor or wasn’t gooey, rich, and custardy enough.  I wanted to improve upon it.

Great bread pudding has to start with great bread.  I used bakery challah, but any good white bakery bread would work.  This is not the time for grocery store bread.  The next important step is a rich custard.  Whole milk and a bunch of Davidson’s Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs make this happen.  Safest Choice Eggs are so important in this recipe.  Bread pudding has to be perfectly cooked in order to be delicious, which means the eggs may not be fully cooked, allowing the pudding to still be soft and moist.  I don’t want to be eating overcooked bread pudding and I certainly don’t want to worry about eating undercooked eggs, so Safest Choice are definitely the way to go.  Using them means worrying about one less thing this holiday season.  A little vanilla bean and cinnamon, not to mention a splash of bourbon, give the custard incredible flavor.  The unique addition of diced apples gives a hint of crunch and a burst of sweetness.

Bread pudding is almost always served with a sauce.  Instead of a traditional whiskey or vanilla sauce, I opted for some homemade caramel, one of my favorite things of all time.  It’s easy to make – no candy thermometer required, and goes perfectly with the bread pudding.  Warm, soft, and comforting, this bread pudding has all of my favorite flavors and almost made me forget it is winter.

Served warm, this will make a great dessert for one of your holiday meals or even a special Christmas morning breakfast treat before present opening commences.  Whenever you eat it, I hope this Caramel Apple Bread Pudding brings you warmth and comfort this holiday season.

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding