This apple & hazelnut bread pudding has been my signature recipe since I was eleven years old (over ten years). My family, friends, and boyfriend request it frequently. It is the BEST, and easiest, bread pudding I've ever had. The recipe has all the flavors you could ever want in a fall dessert, and it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast, because life is short. I will make it forever and ever.
*Note: This recipe can be made the night before and baked in the morning. I have gotten creative by using different fruits, nuts, and spices in the recipe and have never had a bad result. I recommend letting the bread pudding soak for a couple hours before baking, but I have skipped this step before, and it still comes out great. I bake my bread pudding in an 8x10 baking dish, but you can use an 8x8 and increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. —Sara Lynn Hunt
Apple & Hazelnut Bread Pudding
5 1/2 cups
day old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Granny Smith apples, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 375* F. Butter an 8x10 baking dish (8x8 will also work, but cooking times may vary). Place bread cubes in the dish. Pour the melted butter over the bread cubes, and toss to coat. Place the cubed apples evenly over the top of the bread mixture. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, whole milk, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, mace, allspice, ginger, and salt. Pour the custard over the bread and apples. Press the bread cubes into the custard, so they get completely submerged. (Optional) Let the mixture sit in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
Before baking, sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until the custard is set and the apples are tender. You may need to cover it with tinfoil to prevent the top from getting too browned. Serve warm with the maple sauce (below).
Whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a liquid measuring cup. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar.
While whisking the butter mixture, pour the milk slurry into the saucepan. Add the maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
Once the sauce reaches a boil, cook it for three minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Serve warm over the bread pudding.