By my standards, this is the number one comfort dessert. This recipe is so good that I adapted it down from my recipe that served much larger portions—I used at a hotel where we served about 25,000 meals daily. The original recipe called for eighteen gallons of milk. It should be no surprise that my original bread pudding recipe served about 1000 people a day.
TIP: I like to use day-old French bread in my bread pudding recipe because it has more flavor than the gummy plain white kind. Cinnamon-raison bead, croissants, sweat rolls, brioche, challah, and panettone can also be substituted or mixed in combination for part of the bread. Puree some seasonal berries for a sauce or serve with a vanilla sauce.
Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins
Makes 10-12 servings
chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle
2 Granny Smith or baking apples, peel, cored and chopped small
3-4 cups dry French Bread, cubed small
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped small
1/2 cup raisins, *plumped
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 cups milk, or use half milk and half & half
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pure cane sugar, sugar can be slightly reduced if using sweet breads
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange zest
In a small saute pan saute apples in 2 Tablespoons butter to slightly soften, remove and cool.
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and nutmeg, and beat with a whisk until well blended. Slowly pour over the bread mixture. Poke the bread so that it’s completely covered with the milk mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add raisins and 1/2 of the cooled sautéed apple.
Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter, or use muffin cups liners, or individual ramekins.
Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place bread pudding batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining apples on top of batter.
Place a pan larger than the muffin pan in preheated oven and place the pan holding the bread pudding inside. Immediately fil the outer pan with enough hot water so that it comes up one inch on the sides of the muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 10-15 additional minutes. Remove the bread-pudding muffins and allow to set for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Serve Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins warm or cold with warm fruit or vanilla sauce.
*To plump dried raisins add 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice and heat in microwave for 30 seconds; drain orange juice back into pre measured 1/3 cup orange juice.