Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pepe's apple bread pudding has New Orleans flavor

When you live in New Orleans, you have to love bread pudding. One of our Internet friends, Pepe, so enjoys the wonderful bread puddings there, that he’s been inspired to develop his own versions. Today’s recipe, his latest creation, he describes as “awesome.” His wife agrees and wants to make this dish part of their permanent collection.

“This bread pudding is so delicious you do not need the sauce,” says Pepe. He doesn’t always make the rum sauce, but that is an option. He advises letting the bread get stale for a couple of days before cutting it up for bread pudding. “I find it absorbs the milk/eggs mixture better. I also like to press it down once it is all combined so it absorbs the eggs and milk well,” says Pepe.

And while he uses Washington Delicious apples in his pudding, there are many other choices, depending on what’s available in your area. One of our local apple growers here in Rhode Island suggests using a combination of different apples in baked dishes. Among the apple varieties that bake up well are Baldwins, Golden Delicious, Jonathans, Macouns, Pippins, and Rhode Island Greenings. Just to name a few. I like to choose whatever's in my fridge and take it from there.

Here’s Pepe’s recipe. Thanks for sharing!


1/2 cup raisins
4 ounces rum
1-1/2 loaf of French bread, cut into cubes
2 Washington Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 ounces slivered almonds
2 ounces diced pecans
7 large eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can condensed milk
1 stick butter, melted

Place raisins in rum overnight; they will swell up and get nice and juicy. Pull raisins and reserve the rum.
I use a Pyrex baking dish, about 11 X 16, sprayed with butter. Spread cut-up bread cubes to cover entire dish. Sprinkle apples, raisins, almonds, and pecans all over bread.
In large bowl, combine eggs with sugar and mix well. Add milk, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix well. Add evaporated and condensed milk and mix until well combined. Add reserved rum and butter and blend well.
Wash and dry the orange. Rasp the orange peel (orange only not the white) and pour into mixture. Squeeze juice of the orange and pour into mixture. Mix it all well.
Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Be sure to cover it all. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a fork inserted comes out dry. DO NOT OVERCOOK!!!! !!!
© 2008 recipe by Pepe of New Orleans.

Rum Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
4 tablespoons rum
Combine butter, flour, and sugar in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat and add rum. Serve warm over bread pudding.

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