Bread puddings are super easy; you can’t really screw this recipe up. Assemble it ahead of time and throw it in the oven as you start eating so it’s ready when you’re finished with your main course. The reheated leftovers will taste great later on too.
• ½ pound brioche, cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
• 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
• ½ cup sugar
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ⅛ cup apple cider
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1½ cups milk
• ½ vanilla bean, split
• ¼ cup dulce de leche
• Vanilla ice cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the brioche on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly golden.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter; reserve 1 ½ tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl. Add apples and ⅛ cup of the sugar to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden and softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and apple cider. Cook until sauce is syrupy, about 2 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk and remaining sugar to create custard. Scrape in vanilla seeds. Add brioche and apples and toss until evenly coated. Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Brush an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with ½ tablespoon of reserved melted butter. Add bread pudding and drizzle remaining tablespoon of melted butter and dulce de leche on top. Bake until custard is set and the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Let bread pudding cool slightly. Serve with ice cream and more dulce de leche, if desired.
Nutrition score per serving: 256 calories, 6 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 92 mg calcium, 1 mg iron, 1 g fiber, 183 mg sodium, 9 mcg folate