A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Star Provisions with Aida Mollenkamp and some lovely Atlanta food ladies (some of whom I had previously only known virtually) to celebrate Aida's fabulous new cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen.
Not only is Keys to the Kitchen filled with beautiful pictures and recipes, it's pretty much the ultimate kitchen resource. It teaches you tons of basics like how to brown butter, how to make stock, how to properly store your produce, what tools you should have in your kitchen, different cuts of meat, and types of herbs. Dale actually used the cookbook as a guide when breaking down a whole chicken for the first time. Pretty awesome.
As part of her cookbook release, Aida came up with the great idea of having a virtual dinner party made up of recipes from her cookbook! I obviously chose dessert, because, you know, I'm into sweets. Dale has a major love for bread pudding, and I've never made it for him before. So when I saw the Apple Turnover Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce, I knew it was the one.
It's simple, comforting, and perfectly seasonal, what with the bevy of apples at the farmers markets these days. (As you can see, I've picked up a variety of gorgeous apples the past couple of weeks, including the most precious lady apples and my favorite honeycrisps.)
I stayed pretty true to the recipe, adding a few of my own riffs (as Aida calls them) here and there, and it came out pretty freaking amazing. I think it's officially a new favorite!
Apple Turnover Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce
adapted from Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen
My riffs are included in the recipe below and mainly include the additions of spices (the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamom), mainly just because I've been in a fall spice mood lately. Feel free to skip the spices or add your own favorite fall spices!
For Apple Turnover Bread Pudding
120 ml (1/2 cup) apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
100 g (1 cup) dried apples, roughly chopped
28 g (2 Tbsp.) butter
2 Rome, Gala, or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
480 ml (2 cups) half-and-half
5 egg yolks
130 g (2/3 cup packed) dark brown sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup (Aida calls for Grade B, I only had Grade A, but either works fine)
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. kosher salt
455 g (1 lb) brioche (stale or toasted), chopped in large dice
For Maple Cream Sauce
120 ml (1/2 cup) pure maple syrup (see note above)
42 g (3 Tbsp.) butter
120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine cider, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, and whole cloves and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for a few minutes then remove from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes. Strain cider to remove spices and combine with dried apples in a small bowl. Let soak for 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F and position rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon over apples and toss to distribute. Heat butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add apples and cook until slightly golden and just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together half-and-half, yolks, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom, and salt until smooth. (Feel free to adjust the spices to taste.) Place bread, cooked apples, and soaked apples (including any additional liquid) in a large bowl and toss. Pour half-and-half mixture over the bread mixture and toss until bread is evenly coated. Let soak for 15 minutes, tossing one more time in between. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
Make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the syrup and butter and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until slightly thickened. Carefully whisk in the cream and cook until it just comes to a boil. Stir in the ground cloves and cardamom. (Again, feel free to adjust the spices to taste.)
Pour 60 ml (1/4 cup) evenly overtop the bread pudding. Reserve the remaining sauce to use when serving the bread pudding. Bake the bread pudding for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden and toasted and the custard is set. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with Maple Cream Sauce and Spiced Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.
Bread pudding can be assembled one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. After baked, it will keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Join in on the virtual dinner party and see all the other talented bloggers who participated here, and check out the cookbook trailer below.