Things have been super busy in Casa del Kitchen as we get ready for the holidays. If you’re like us and you spend your holidays traveling and not hosting, the lead-up gets spent in frenetic travel preparation. There’s been lots of shopping, wrapping, late work nights to get everything done before year’s end, and this week, we’re traveling to see family for the holidays. Sadly, it’s also one of the times of year where I find myself not cooking much. We’ve been subsisting on quick meals and take-out over the last two weeks, and I’m definitely ready for some fabulous home cooked treats. Lucky for us, we’ll be seeing both our families over the next few weeks, and we’ll likely be stuffed to the gills for the next month! I did, however, recently find time to make this delicious apple walnut raisin bread pudding, which I think would make a tasty addition to any holiday spread. It’s also a great recipe to make ahead — just reheat in the oven during dinner, and serve warm with some fresh whipped cream (or, if you’re an ice cream lover like Mr. Kitchen, a scoop of vanilla).
On a separate note, Mr. Kitchen and I exchanged our gifts today and he got me a super kick-ass netbook so I hope to be posting more regularly!
Apple Walnut Raisin Bread Pudding
1 loaf Challah Bread (cubed and crusts removed)
3 apples, diced
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350º
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and put the bread cubes in the pan and roast in the oven until lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool, and then put the bread into a buttered 13 x 9 baking dish. Leave the oven on.
In a medium sauce pan, cook the apples, butter and sugar until the apples are a bit soft (about 5 minutes). Pour the apple mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish. Add raisins and walnuts to pan and gently toss to mix apples, bread, walnuts and raisins together.
In a mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, heavy cream, milk and spices together. Add eggs one at a team and beat together. Add cornstarch and beat for 2-3 minutes until fully incorporated.
Pour the custard over the bread mixture and let set for 20-30 minutes, until the bread soaks up the liquid a bit. Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for about one hour, or until golden brown and the bread offers a bit of resistance in the middle from a gentle touch.