Recently I went to O’Charley’s Restaurant and they had a new drink specials menu that had pairings of of beers and ciders along with shots. One jumped out at me, Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider with a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Yes, please. It is a fabulous combo and that same night I picked up some of both at the store so I could have it at home. A few days later a thought popped into my head to use this new combo to make some homemade bread pudding with hard sauce. What a great thought it was! I concocted the new recipe this past weekend and it is to die for!
My inspiration for this bread pudding recipe, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Angry Orchard Hard Cider in Crisp Apple. Even if you are not making this bread pudding recipe I encourage you to try this combo to drink regardless.
The ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic for a bread pudding with the addition of sliced apple though. The choice of bread is yours. Take a look at your bakery to see what is available. Mine had this double loaf of French bread (12 ounces total) which was perfect for me. Italian bread or a mild sourdough also make for a good bread pudding I think.
Slice your bread into cubes. If it is still pretty moist you can always put it in a low oven for a bit, after cubing, to dry it out a bit more.
Mix up the custard in a large bowl. I like to whisk it for a minute or so to get it all combined well and let the sugar dissolve a bit before I add the bread cubes.
Add your bread to the large bowl with the custard mix. Use a wooden spoon to toss it gently but thoroughly and press the bread down a bit with the spoon too. You want to get all of the bread wet. Let it sit for about 20 minutes or so at least and toss it a few times during that.
Smear the butter on the sides and bottom of your baking dish. You can use cooking spray, but I think the butter adds to the dish. Now spoon out about half of the soaked bread into the casserole.
You only need a small apple for this. Peel it and slice it really thin. I actually used my OXO hand slicer for this – it is one of my favorite kitchen tools. You want the apple thin so that it cooks thoroughly.
Now layer half of those apple slices over the soaked bread cubes. Then add the rest of the soaked bread cubes. Now slowly pour the rest of the custard mix into the dish as well. Use your wooden spoon again to smush the bread down into the custard. It will not all be covered, but that is okay.
Layer the rest of the apples slices on top and then sprinkle with just a bit of sugar and cinnamon.
Bake the bread pudding for about 45-60 minutes. How long it takes depends on the amount of moisture in your bread before you start and the type of bread. Just insert a knife in the center to test for doneness – when it comes out clean it is ready. Let the pudding rest at least 15 minutes before you serve so it sets up fully. The bits of bread that were poking out the top will be a bit crunchy and the bottom part nice and soft. I love having the mix of texture in bread pudding like this.
Wait to make the sauce right before you are ready to serve. Boil the sugar and water and then remove and add the butter and cream cheese and then finally stir in the milk and the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky.
Scoop out some of the bread pudding onto a plate or bowl and spoon the cinnamon whisky sauce over the top.
That’s it! Bread pudding really is not hard to make. It is not something I eat all the time because it does have lots of fat, calories, and carbs but once or twice a year I suffer through that and enjoy my bread pudding.
Do you plan on trying this recipe? What changes, if any, would you make?