Any leftover sweet bread like panettone or ciambelle, or even raisin bread, is a good candidate for this delicious bread pudding with apples and caramel sauce.
It is baked in a bagnomaria (water bath), which gives the pudding even heat and provides a wonderful textural taste.
- 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 12 slices sweet bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups light cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the brandy for 30 minutes.
Place the bread pieces in a rectangular casserole dish and pour the cream over it. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar with the nutmeg, eggs, salt, and butter until well blended.
Drain the raisins and add to the sugar mixture along with 2 tablespoons of the brandy. Add the apple slices and soaked bread slices. Combine well. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the remaining sugar and 1/3 cup water.
Let the sugar dissolve completely, and then boil until it darkens to a caramel color.
Immediately pour it into an 91/2 x 21/2 deep ring mold and swirl to coat the bottom of the mold.
Be careful not to hold the mold by the bottom or you may burn your hand. Hold it by the rim.
Pour the apple bread mixture into the mold, spreading and pack¬ing it evenly with a wooden spoon.
Place the mold in a baking pan and pour in enough boiling water around the outside of the mold to come 11/2 inches up the sides.
Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out still slightly damp.
Remove the mold from the pan and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Carefully place a round rimmed serving dish or platter larger than the mold over the top of the mold and invert it.
Shake to release the pudding and the sauce. Cut into wedges and serve warm.