SERVES 8 | 2 HOURS 20 MINUTES | 257 CALORIES
Silky, soft and sweet, this spiced bread pudding made with apple cider instead of custard makes this healthy dessert recipe delicious and decadent with less added sugar.
- 1 1/2 pounds tart apples (3-4 medium), such as Granny Smith, Empire or Cortland
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups 1-inch cubes of stale bread without crust (see TIPS AND TRICKS)
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts (see TIPS AND TRICKS for toasting)
- Whipped cream (optional)
Set your oven to 350 F.
- PREP APPLES AND LIQUID
Peel and thinly slice apples. Toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and mace (or nutmeg) in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine cider, butter and vanilla.
- LAYER IT
- Cover the bottom of a 3-quart round casserole dish (or similar size pot) with 2 cups bread pieces. Pour about 1/2 cup of the cider mixture over them. Sprinkle with about one-third of the raisins and cover with about one-third of the apple slices.
- Repeat with another layer of 2 cups bread, 1/2 cup cider and half the remaining raisins and apple slices.
- For the third layer, arrange the rest of the bread, raisins and apples so that some of each is visible on the surface. Slowly ladle the remaining cider mixture over the top.
- Using a flat, wide spatula, press down to compact and submerge the top layer (it may not remain submerged).
- Cover with a lid or foil.
- BAKE, BASTE, BAKE, BASTE, BAKE
- Bake for 30 minutes. Use the spatula again to press down the top and baste it with the liquid.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes more. Baste the top layer again by pressing down on it with the spatula.
- Keep the cover off and continue baking until the top is golden, about 30 minutes more.
- Let rest on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
- TOP AND SERVE
Scoop the bread pudding into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle each portion with some of the walnuts and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- To stale bread naturally, store at room temperature in a paper (not plastic) bag for 2 to 5 days. If you don’t want to wait, bake sliced or cubed bread on a large baking sheet at 250 F until crisped and dry, about 15 to 20 minutes. One 1-pound loaf (12 to 14 slices) yields 8 to 10 cups of 1-inch pieces.
- Toast nuts before using for the best flavor. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 7 to 9 minutes or until fragrant, stirring once and checking often.
Recipe by EatingWell