By Liz Bares
Apple Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, is positively sinful and will bring the house down. If you are the designated dessert maker for Thanksgiving, I strongly suggest you bring this dessert to the table. Keep in mind this recipe takes TWO DAYS. You must soak the croissants overnight.
The secret is to use flakey, buttery artisan made croissants. I suggest you use plain croissants from either Main Street Sweets in Allegany or Elm Street Bakery in East Aurora.
Apple Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Ingredients for the pudding:
9 large croissants (the usual size, just not mini)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut in large, pea-sized chunks and tossed with 2 tablespoons sugar
5 cups milk (Again, whole is best. The most flavor and the fat in the milk adds consistency to the pudding.)
1/2 cup raisins (FYI, I abhor cooked raisins! If you like them, go ahead and add them.)
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla (again, get a good quality vanilla)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (if you don’t like the flavor of nutmeg you could use a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. I’ve not done it, but I don’t think it would be too bad.)
Whipped cream, sweetened to taste (Making your own is simple. I’ll add a quick recipe at the end.*)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons sour mash whiskey (Add more or less according to flavor preference.)
1. The night before, cut or tear the croissants into bite-sized chunks. Combine croissant and apple chunks with milk and raisins (if using). Toss to combine, making sure all the bread is wet with milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl then whisk to combine. Pour custard into croissant mixture and mix well. Pour entire mixture into a buttered 8” x 11” glass baking dish and bake for one hour or until puffy and browned. If you have just a ceramic baking dish, the cooking time may take a bit longer. (Please do not make this in a metal dish. The cooking time will be too fast and you won’t get a good custard.)
3. While pudding is baking, you can go ahead and make the Whiskey Sauce. Place butter in a small saucepan and melt slowly over low-medium heat. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then slowly add the melted butter. (If you add the hot melted butter to your egg too fast, it will cook the egg.) Stir in the powdered sugar and whiskey, and mix well and reserve. This sauce can be made a day ahead if you wish. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
4. As soon as pudding is removed from the oven, pour the Whiskey Sauce over the top. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving with whipped cream.
*Pour into a cold metal bowl a half pint of very cold heavy whipping cream. With a whisk on your electric mixer or hand blender, whisk until frothy. Add about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk again until soft peaks form. Viola, whipped cream!