Earlier this week…
“Are you pulling a cupcake?”
“Maybe. This isn’t cake.”
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the beau to rate the Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting … to which he replied he couldn’t fairly do so. They were the first cupcakes in the Cake A Week Challenge and he could not rightfully compare them to the cakes. I’m finding that men can be much like feral cats. Feed them enough goodies and soon they will be quite the connoisseur.
As we hovered over the Rustic Apple Bread Pudding, he pulled a cupcake. This could not be judged against cakes. “This isn’t really cake.”
It’s true. Bread pudding is not cake. Maybe I should have named my challenge Dessert Of The Week … but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.
You may be wondering, why bread pudding? Last week I finished reading Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. The author was gracious enough to share Italian recipes throughout the book. (High fives Frances Mayes). This is one reason this book will be a lifer on my shelf. I’m going to be whipping up Italian goodies.
As you read about her experiences in Italy, you find it is common for recipes not to have a set measurement. That applies to this recipe in some respect. What constitutes a ‘sprinkle’? I may have been a little heavy handed with that, for sprinkle makes me think of sprinkles… as in the rainbow sort that I have my coffee ice cream in waffle cones smothered in.
Rustic Apple Bread Pudding
from Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Peel, core and cut four or five crisp baking apples in large slices. Squeeze lemon juice over them, then dust with nutmeg. Toast 1 cup of sliced almonds. Remove any hard crust from a loaf of leftover bread (fresh bread would be too soft for this recipe). Cut the bread into slices and lay some of them on the bottom of a rectangular pan, 9 by 12 inches or so. In a saute pan, melt six tablespoons of butter and six tablespoons of sugar. Add 3/4 cup of the toasted almonds, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of cider or water. Toss apple chunks in this. Layer the apple mixture and bread in the pan, ending with a layer of bread. Beat together six tablespoons of softened butter and four tablespoons of sugar. Beat in four eggs, then 1 & 1/4 cups of milk and 3/4 cups of light cream. Pour evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the top with a little sugar, nutmeg and remaining toasted almonds. Bake a 350 for an hour. Allow to rest 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with sweetened mascarpone or whipped cream. Serves 8.
We tried it with whipped cream, but then we also tried it with ice cream. Mascarpone is not easily attainable here on the ESVA so we did not get to experiment with that. We had it cold, we warmed it in the microwave, and found good results with both temperatures. Everyone found this recipe amazing, including my dad who was thrilled to see I made another chocolate-less dessert recipe.
Fear not chocolate lovers! The end of the No Chocolate Cake Streak is near! Soon we will be enjoying the yummy goodness of chocolate!
NOW… time for some more horrible food photograhpy. I apologize in advanced for my display shortcomings.