Yea, summer, you can have your fresh fruits and warm weather. Fall has apples. Yesss, apples. Apple cider, apple butter, apple donuts. Fall is the best. Every year, Jake and I go apple picking with our friends and even though it was a cold and rainy day, we braved the elements and got out there to climb some trees. Just kidding, I didn't climb any trees seeing as I was pregnant at the time. I didn't want to get scolded by the baby police.
Even though there are a million recipes to make with apples, it seems so easy to stick to the same old thing from last year. But I didn't want to fall (no pun intended) into that trap, so I called on my pal Ina Garten to provide some inspiration. Granted, the recipe I ended up with didn't actually have any apples in it, but I went ahead and added them. I do what I want.
Whoever said that bread pudding is difficult to make is crazy. It was pretty easy! Made a lot easier by the fact that the baby was tucked inside my belly and unable to scream and cry, but still. I was surprised that I wasn't slaving away in the kitchen all day.
Bread pudding isn't the most beautiful food in the world, but when drizzled with caramel and served warm all aesthetic sins are quickly forgiven.
Apple Croissant Bread Pudding (adapted from Ina Garten):
Ingredients 3 extra-large whole eggs 5 extra-large egg yolks 5 cups half-and-half 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 6 stale croissants (just cut them in half and let them sit out overnight) 2 apples, peeled and diced 1 cup raisins A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg Caramel sauce for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Set the mixture aside. Separate the tops and bottoms of the croissants and rip them up into bite-sized pieces. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the apples and raisins and sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Then cover with the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently. Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn't touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with caramel drizzled on top.