Savory Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding

Savory Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (half a stick)
2 cups diced apples, cut into ¾ to 1-inch cubes (Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Pink Lady are best)
½ cup diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 eggs
1 ½ cups cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ pound day-old bread, cubed (about 5 to 6 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat; add the apples, onion and thyme and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the apples are slightly soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the eggs and cream together. With a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir in the chilled apple mixture and cheddar cheese until combined. Gently incorporate the bread cubes into the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish, loaf pan or muffin tin and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. If using a loaf pan, fill pan to within an inch of the top; for muffins, fill to the top of each mold.

Create a water bath to ensure even baking: Place the pan with the bread pudding in the center of a larger pan, and fill with warm water to half-way up the side of the smaller pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, until the top is a rich, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Oven temperatures vary, so check for doneness after 45 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

To store: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days for best results.

To freeze: Bake first, cool, wrap in plastic and transfer to an airtight freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. For easy access, cut into individual portions before freezing, wrap each portion in plastic and place them in a freezer bag or container.

Tips:

  • To prevent browning, soak the cut apples in a bowl filled with water and a tablespoon of lemon juice until ready to use.
  • These measurements are mere guidelines, and the amount of bread, apples, spices, onions and cheese may be adjusted to your taste.
  • Adjust the size of your bread cubes to the size of the pan – for larger pans, cut into 1-inch cubes; for smaller pans or muffins, cut into half-inch cubes.