Apple-cranberry bread pudding with rosemary gelato and cider-Calvados reduction A sweet & simple, grown-up take on the old-fashioned bread pudding recipe

Apple-cranberry bread puddings with rosemary gelato and cider-Calvados reduction

A festive amalgam of fall flavors

I don’t know about you, but I can never resist the smell of bread pudding baking in the oven. It’s one of those things that can drive you a little mad – and make you want to dig in before it’s cooled down enough to eat.

This recipe is an all-time favorite. The cranberries add a bit of tartness to the sweet apples, while the Calvados makes the pudding a grown-up affair.

Although this dessert will taste perfectly delicious with vanilla ice cream, the rosemary gelato truly transforms it into a festival of flavor. And the last touch – the apple cider reduction – intensifies the apple flavors and brings extra moistness to the puddings.

Individual bread puddings make for elegant presentation

For a sophisticated touch, serve this dessert in individual portions, as shown above. But if that feels too daunting, you can also bake your bread pudding in a single dish and serve it family style. Either way, I promise, everyone will be scraping their plates and licking their spoons!

Food & wine pairing: Canada, Icewine with apple-cranberry bread puddings

Dessert-sherry wine iconIf you make this dessert for a dinner party or a special occasion, then serving a dessert wine with it would be totally appropriate. Try an Icewine from Canada or Germany (spelled Eiswein), or a sweet Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Both would be stunning with these bread puddings.

Cranberries

Apple-cranberry bread puddings with rosemary gelato and cider-Calvados reduction

serves 8
active time: 40 min

For the apple mixture

  1. 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) Jonagold, Empire or McIntosh apples (3 large) – peeled, cored and cut in 1/2″ pieces
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries – coarsely chopped (use a food processor)
  4. 1/4 cup organic sugar
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (use a microplane grater)
  6. 1/4 cup Calvados (or Brandy)
  7. 6 oz (170 g) brioche or Challah bread – cut in 1/2″ cubes

For the custard

  1. 3 extra large eggs – lightly beaten
  2. 1 extra large egg yolk
  3. 1/4 cup organic sugar
  4. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  5. 1 cup milk
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the reduction

  1. 2 cups apple cider
  2. 1/3 cup organic sugar
  3. 1/2 cup Calvados (or Brandy)
  1. 1 recipe rosemary gelato with crème fraîche (or vanilla ice cream)
  2. 8 half-cup-capacity ramequins (or 1 medium ceramic baking dish) – buttered and floured

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC).
  2. Step 1: Place the apple pieces in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and Calvados and toss well. Add the brioche or Challah cubes, toss again and set aside.
  3. Step 2: To make the custard – In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, cream, milk and cinnamon until well blended. Pour the custard into the apple mixture and toss. Let stand for 5 minutes so that the bread soaks up some of the liquids. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramequins (or prepared baking dish) up to 1/4” from rim. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the bread puddings are golden-brown and bubbly.
  4. Step 3: To make the reduction – Place the apple cider and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high to medium and fast-simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has almost completely evaporated and the syrup looks foamy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Within a few seconds, the foam will become two shades darker (be careful not to burn the syrup at this stage). Immediately add the Calvados and continue simmering for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  5. Step 4: When the bread puddings are warm, but not hot, un-mold them. Then place each pudding in the center of a dessert plate, top-side-up. Top each pudding with a small scoop of rosemary gelato or vanilla ice cream, drizzle with the reduction and serve. Alternatively, if the bread pudding was made in a single baking dish, spoon the pudding in dessert bowls, scoop gelato or ice cream on the side, drizzle with the reduction and serve.
  6. Cook’s note: The bread puddings can be made up to 2 days ahead. To serve, reheat at 350 °F (180 ºC) for 5 to 8 minutes. They will lose their flavor if refrigerated for a longer time. Serve warm.

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Apple-cranberry bread puddings with rosemary gelato and cider-Calvados reduction

dessert, bread pudding, apple

18 Comments

  1. I love the individual cups of bread pudding with interesting flavor of apple cider reduction.

  2. Hi everyone! Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I’m very sorry for not answering sooner, but the holidays got the better of me.

    Hope you’re all having a great beginning to your New Year… and as always, happy cooking and bon appétit!

  3. This bread pudding has my mouth watering! I’m not a rosemary fan, but I think basil gelato could be great too! Happy New Year Viviane! 😀

  4. I love this dessert…what a gorgeous combination of flavors with each of these components! I’ve been hoarding cranberries and still have a nice stockpile. I’d really like to try this rosemary/cranberry combo.

  5. I love bread pudding, what an interesting new take on it! I love the idea of the rosemary with it.

  6. it is such a beautiful presentation, the light in your photos is amazing and the pudding sounds quiet good!

  7. What a wonderfully elegant dessert. I hope you and yours have a healthy, happy 2012!

  8. Wow. This bread pudding looks so good! I could definitely handle a few of these.

  9. These are beautiful!

  10. Oh Viviane – leave it to you to elevate the bread pudding. Love all these elements. So festive! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!
    LL

  11. These are so beautiful and look amazing!

  12. I adore all the various flavors here, all complimenting each other. I am a fan of bread pudding to but that gelato really has me curious. Happy Holidays!

  13. Wow! Talk about a show-stopper! Merry Christmas!

  14. What a sophisticated combination of flavors and an elegant presentation. A perfect way to end a holiday meal.

  15. Haven’t made bread pudding in a long while..I love the combination of apples and cranberries in this recipe. Beautiful!
    I wish you and yours a joyful and relaxing holiday season!
    Angie

  16. Oh, my gosh…what a fabulous combination of flavors! I’m a huge bread pudding fan…and wish I had one of those gorgeous ramekins in my kitchen! My best to you this holiday season!!!!

  17. This looks amazing!!! I just love how this looks. Pinning it now.

  18. Hello Viviane, We love bread pudding. Thank you for your recipe it looks delicious. A new treat for us all! Yummy.

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