Saturday, September 22, 2012

Irish Apple Bread Pudding

Fall is wonderful for so many reasons, but fall in Pennsylvania is especially wonderful because of the access to so much delicious, harvest produce.  From squash to (my favorite!) apples, it's a bountiful autumn.  Our local farmer's market is in full swing until November, and this recipe is dedicated to the farmers we have had the pleasure of meeting in our little part of paradise (i.e. southeastern PA).  Primarily, the food I made this with was sourced (very) locally (sometimes coming from right down the street!).

apples freshly picked from Tabora Farms in Chalfont this morning!
Note: this is not an overly sweet bread pudding.  It is a savory, fall treat that gets a hint of sweetness by adding the Whiskey Cider Glaze.

Irish Apple Bread Pudding

In a large bowl, combine:
325g cinnamon raisin bread (about 2/3 of a standard loaf)*
25g raisins
287g (red delicious) apples (about 3 medium, peeled/cored)*

Over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter~. Switch to low heat and whisk in 1/2 cup apple cider*, 1/2 cup buttermilk~, 1 cup half and half (or light cream)~. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Whisk in 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, then one at a time, whisk in 3 eggs+, making sure to whisk until completely combined after each addition.  Slice open and scrape 1 vanilla bean, whisking to combine.  Add 1 cinnamon stick and stir well.  Cook on low heat for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Up heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Cook for 3 more minutes on medium-low.  Whisk.  Up heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. 

Pour your pudding mixture over the bread mixture and stir, mixing well.  Pour the finished product into an 8x8 or 7x11 baking disk that you have greased with either cooking spray or some left over butter.  Allow it to sit while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook for 45 minutes (give or take 5 minutes depending on your oven). The pudding is done when the pan is completely set, a caramel brown, and bubbling.  Optional: sprinkle over a handful of white sugar and/or a handful of brown sugar if you want a sweeter bread pudding.

Remove the bread pudding and allow it to rest while you prepare the Whisky Cider Glaze.

Prepare your ingredients in advance:
1/4 cup butter~
1tbsp vanilla (I make my own with Bulleit Bourbon and whole vanilla beans)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider*
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (I use Redbreast for cooking and for drinking, although Midleton is my favorite for a drink! A shoutout to my kickass (step)Dad for encouraging my love of fine food and cooking, and teaching me what a good drink is all about!)
1 egg yolk+

Although you can cook this straight to heat, I highly recommend using a double-boiler to avoid scorching.

In the top of a double boiler (over boiling water), melt the butter.  Whisk in the vanilla until well combined then slowly pour in the sugars, which you can mix together prior to adding.  Continue to whisk as you drizzle in the cider.  Whisk until the sugars are completely dissolved; do NOT add the whiskey prior to this step, as you will cook out all of the alcohol and some of the taste.  Whisk in the whiskey then add the egg yolk, whisking vigorously for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

NOTE: This recipe is best served warm and the sauce will thicken as it cools.  If you are making this in advance, cover the pan with foil and heat for 15 minutes at 275 degrees (or 10 minutes at 300 degrees). Return the sauce to the top of a double boiler and heat, slowly adding 1/8 cup of cider and 1/8 cup whiskey (depending on how thick the sauce has gotten, you may need the full 1/4 cup of liquid; otherwise, just eyeball and add, a tablespoon at a time, the cider and whiskey until the sauce is the correct consistency).

Ingredients marked with "*" were sourced from Tabora Farms (Lansdale and Chalfont); the apples were actually picked from the tree TODAY in Chalfont by my family- doesn't get better than that!
Ingredients marked with "~" were sourced from Natural by Nature of West Grove.
Ingredients marked with "+" were sourced from Alderfer Farms in Telford.


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