I am making an apple bread pudding that calls for brandy or calvados - can I substitute sweet marsala?

  • Posted by: wingirl
  • October 18, 2015


Susan W. October 19, 2015
I would not use any of those if making for ten year olds for two reasons. One..the alcohol doesn't "cook off" as we've been told and two..because the flavors will be off putting for little tastebuds. Apple cider and vanilla and or cinnamon would be how I would go.
Dessito October 19, 2015
If OP has not made this yet, I would advise against replacing calvados (warm apple flavor) with marsala wine (vinegary and better accompaniment for meats and savory dishes than desserts). Just leave it out if you're making the dessert for kids. I am afraid that the marsala will most likely ruin the pudding, both in terms of taste and texture.

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Nancy October 19, 2015
Or use a low-sugar apple juice or white grape juice.
702551 October 18, 2015
You could, but it wouldn't have the same flavor profile.

Calvados in particular is an apple brandy that hails from Normandy (northern France), so the spirit matches the ingredient 1-for-1.

Brandy is a grape-based spirit.

Marsala is a dessert wine made from grapes growing in the warm climate of Sicily, very far from the natural growing area of apple orchards.

Again, it should be tasty, but it won't have the same harmony of flavors as a cool-climate spirit made from the same ingredient as the primary component.

Matching ingredients based on regionality is often a key factor in the difference between a good dish and a great one.

But it's your call here.
wingirl October 18, 2015
Thanks CV, its for a group of ten year olds - extra credit for a medieval france study - so I am going to take the risk! :)
702551 October 18, 2015
Oh, in that case, you're good.

No need to splurge on a bottle of calvados for a one-off occasion, although you might end up enjoying calvados for yourself... :-)
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