This can be made for a cozy dessert and served right out of the oven, with ice cream or whipped cream on top. To have a very indulgent breakfast, cool over night in the fridge, slice and reheat briefly in a shallow pan with butter. Go over the top and drizzle with maple syrup. Using a mixture of apples lends tart and sweet bites to this cozy bread pudding. —navahfrost
a 9x13 pan
cubes or torn pieces of bread (brioche, challah or baguette all work here)
Butter a 13 x 9 inch pyrex or similarly sized baking dish, Set rack to middle of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Put the bread cubes into the pan and set aside.
Core apples and chop into small dice. Place them in a shallow pan with a pinch of salt, brown sugar, and butter. Cook on a medium heat, stirring, allowing the brown sugar and butter to bubble. After about 7 minutes, pour the contents of the pan over the bread, distributing the apples with the butter sugar mixture evenly.
Whisk eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a medium sized pan heat milk and cream with cinnamon stick until small bubble form at the side of the pan. Take the cinnamon stick out of the cream (don't throw it away, you will put it in the baking pan in a few minutes). Add a few tablespoons of the milk and cream to the eggs and whisk to temper. Then slowly stream the milk and cream into the bowl of eggs and sugar, making sure to whisk while you do. Add the calvados to the mixture.
Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread and apples. Let the liquid soak into the bread, pressing down on the top a bit. Snuggle the cinnamon stick in the side of the pan so that it is easy to find when the dish is baked.
Place in the oven and bake until just barely wiggling in the middle, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Serve warm, serve room temperature, serve cold- this tastes good at any temperature.