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Archive for the ‘Apples’ Category

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An Apple a Day

One of my New Year’s resolutions, and probably the one I’ll have the most success in keeping, is to use up what we buy to eat. I would love to try the European style of shopping–going to the fresh food purveyors and buying just what we need for the day. Making a week’s menu and spending half a day Saturday foraging for the week’s food is just not my style. So up and down the aisles we go, grabbing what looks good and hoping for inspiration.

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That’s how dessert tonite happened. Short on time, with an apple and half a loaf of stale bread needing to be used, I settled on an old favorite, bread pudding–with a bit of a twist. Hiding in the back of the fridge is about half a cup of buttermilk. Okay, we have the makings of Apple Bread Pudding with Buttermilk Sauce. Now before you say “yuck, I don’t like buttermilk,” let me assure you that buttermilk sauce is really a sweet caramel-ly sauce that sinks into every nook and cranny of the baked pudding, puddling lusciously on the plate. With a tall glass of cold milk, you can’t beat this for comfort food.

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Pure Comfort
For the longest time, I shied away from making bread pudding–back when I thought I had to have a recipe for everything. There wasn’t a recipe for it in Mom’s recipe box, and there wasn’t a recipe for it in any of my cookbooks–and Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet–as I said, that was a l-o-n-g time ago. Then in an epiphanic moment, I realized that bread pudding is nothing more than french toast in a baking dish. Now, doesn’t that open up all sorts of possibilities.
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Up Close and Personal
So, here is the method and the ingredients–just change ’em up to suit your taste. It will vary depending on the type of apple, the bread–how much, now dry, what kind. But this is one of those recipes that, even though it may not be exactly the same every time, it will certainly be good.
Appley Bread Pudding
1 or 2 apples, coarsely grated, including skin
1/2 loaf stale bread (I used plain white bread this time)
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk (maybe more, it needs to be very wet)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Method:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Generously butter baking dish.
Break or cut bread into 1 inch pieces.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together, stir in sugar, then add remaining ingredients. Pour into buttered baking dish. Bake 50 to 60 minutes till knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Serve warm with Buttermilk Sauce.
Buttermilk Sauce:
Inspired by Paula Deen
1/2 cup butter (use the real thing)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
Method:
When pudding is nearly done, start the sauce. Melt butter in a large saucepan–this will bubble a lot when the baking soda heats up. Stir in sugar, buttermilk and baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, but keep a boil. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
When Bread Pudding is done, remove from oven, poke holes in pudding with a knife or handle of wooden spoon, pour sauce over and let stand 1 hour. Serve warm. Add whipped cream if you need more decadence.

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