Friday, October 19, 2007

Apple Walnut Bread Pudding and Carmel Sauce

3/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 loaf good 1-day-old bread, cubed into about 4 cups
4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Butter an 8x8 square baking dish. Heat the oven to 350ºF. Toss the raisins with the cinnamon and set aside in a separate bowl. Put the bread cubes in the oven for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, to toast.
In a large frying pan, sauté the apple pieces with the butter and brown sugar until golden and barely tender. Mix the apples, raisins, and walnuts.
In a small saucepan heat the milk, cream, butter, and brown sugar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the spices and salt.
Mix the toasted bread in with the apples mixture. Pack into the baking dish and pour the cream mixture over. Let sit for an hour, if you have time, to absorb, or bake right away. Bake for about 45 minutes or until set. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

2 cups cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
Pinch salt
1/4 cup butter

Warm the cream in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. While it's warming, add the sugar and water to a large, heavy, high-sided pan over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then leave it alone to boil until it reaches a deep amber color. You are looking for a dark caramel here, because you will be adding cream, so don't flinch and take it off the heat when it's still just pale gold!
Remove from heat and whisk in the cream. Be very careful and add the cream slowly - the caramel is going to bubble up violently! Add the pinch of salt and butter and whisk smooth. Simmer until slightly reduced.

Add the Carmel atop the individual bread pudding bowls, and then add fresh whipping cream. Delicious!

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