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Wednesday 2 July 2014

Apple cinnamon bun eggnog bread pudding with vanilla icing baked or in slowcooker / crockpot recipe! Part 7 of Breakfast and brunch series!

So far in the Breakfast and Brunch series, we've covered...
Part one:  how to poach eggs and make Hollandaise sauce to make killer Eggs Benedict!
Part two: how to make the best customized pancakes! From chocolate, banana bread, carrot cake, lemon ricotta, tasty healthy and high fibre pancakes and more!
Part 3: how to make the best customized crisp and fluffy Belgium waffles!
Part 4: how to make Oven roasted garlic and herb crispy potato wedges with bacon!
Part 5: apple pie cinnamon goodness oatmeal
And what can breakfast be if there wasn't a sweet dessert at the end?  I've tried this recipe both by baking in the oven in a water bath and in a slowcooker (though you really have to butter the crock pot and watch so it doesn't burn!).  Served with a drizzle of vanilla icing, I topped it off with some Chantilly cream for a potluck brunch, but you can easily serve it with a scoop of vanilla icecream too!

The key to making this in a crockpot or slow cooker is to butter or vegetable oil spray the heck out of the pot so none of the ingredients stick... and keep a hawk's eye on it as slow cookers and crock pots are variable in how hot they get even on low.. some get pretty hot so they will cook this bread pudding a heck of a lot faster.  You can use a smaller 5 quart slow cooker, or a bigger 7 quart slow cooker - both work!  If it burns because you weren't attentive, you'll have a not so delectable blackened mess to scrape and toss out (redo-ing this recipe last minute in the oven works, but is stressful if you need the bugger thing for a get together!). You can make this from leftover homemade cinnamon buns (if such a thing exists) or simply buy some unfrosted cinnamon buns from the grocery store... they always tend to be a bit on the dry side even if they're freshly baked... and just cube them up.  You want the cinnamon buns or whatever sweet bread you're using to be a bit stale and dry so they can soak up the custard mixture like a sponge.  Make sure you grease up your pan or crock pot pot good.. I used my Misto oil sprayer, or things tend to stick and scorch.

Peeling all the apples isn't too much of an ordeal if you have a handy apple peeler! And since my boyfriend won't do it.. by apple peeler, I mean one of these apple peelers! I'm spoiled.. I dig it out everytime I have to peel more than 2 or 3 apples since washing it is just a quick rinse in the sink!

Assembly is pretty easy regardless if you're using the crock pot or oven.  If using oven, pop the completed pan into a shallow pan, then add boiling water to it to create the water bath.. much easier to transfer than one full of boiling water!!  Just make sure the bread/cinnamon buns have a chance to soak up all the milk a bit.  If using a slow cooker or crock pot, just pop the lid on and set it to low.

Be super careful taking the baked bread pudding out of the water bath so you don't splash and burn yourself! I used a large lasagna sized Pyrex pan (from this awesome Pyrex set!) so I could see how much liquid gets absorbed into the pudding as it cooked. After letting it cool for a bit, scoop it out and drizzle it with vanilla icing (I just used a spoon to drizzle the icing cuz I was lazy)

Then serve warm with some Chantilly cream (recipe here) or vanilla icecream!

Ingredients for Apple cinnamon bun eggnog bread pudding
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegetable spray for greasing the container
-8 apples peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (Gala, Macintosh, Granny Smith, whatever you have on hand)
-1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar

-1 lb of stale cinnamon buns or brioche bread or raisin bread cut into 1 inch cubes
-2 cups of eggnog (or half and half or cream or milk)
-4 eggs, beaten
-3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 tablespoon rum, brandy or bourbon *optional*
- vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream to serve it with!

Ingredients for Vanilla icing
-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
-1 cup icing sugar
-1-3 teaspoons of milk (add until you have the consistency you like)

How to:
1) Butter or grease up the insides of a 9 x 13 pan or crock pot
2) In a large bowl plunk all the cubed bread into it.  In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, eggnog (or milk or cream or whatever you're using), 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar, 1Tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and liquor if using.  Dump the custard mixture over the bread cubes evenly.  Let sit so the bread absorbs the liquid while you deal with the apples
3.  Peel and cube apples. Toss peeled and cubed apple pieces in a large bowl with 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar.  Dump the apples into your prepared pan/crockpot.
4. Dump the bread mixture on top of the apples, gently mix with hands so the apples and bread cubes are combined.
5. 2 methods to cook the bread pudding:
Crock pot / Slow cooker: cover and cook on low for 2 hours. It may need 15-30 extra minutes of cooking time.  Start watching at 2 hours as the sugar will scorch if it overcooks.  Bread pudding is done when the centre (and custard) barely jiggles when you give the crock pot a nudge
In the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350F. Place your 9 x 13 pan in a larger shallow pan (I used a cookie sheet with high sides) and pop into oven.  Carefully, add boiling water into the shallow pan to create a water bath - the steam from the water bath will prevent the bread pudding from burning as it cooks.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is nice and toasty.
6. Mix the vanilla icing ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle all over the warm pudding.  Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream to serve it with!

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