I was thinking about a dessert to make - not pie, not sauce, but something to put me in mind of puddings, which I love above all other desserts. Mousse and puddings , custard and creme brulee, I do love them all. As my sister once said to me, she adores nursery food. As do I.
And so, looking at my latest batch of apples, I decided I wanted an inbetween dessert - custardy but with soft nuggets of those oh-so-fresh Macintosh apples. Eggy, but not too rich. Something that could be whipped up quickly, but scented with cinnamon and good for breakfast or a slightly sweet ending.
I recently tried that wildly popular recipe for Bread in Five - a quick yeasted bread dough that could be kept in the fridge, and whipped up as you needed for rolls or loaves, and I fell in love. I followed the recipe and now have a spectacular dough that is almost instantly available as I need it. For this recipe, I simply grabbed a handful of dough, let it rise, and made a quick ...well, not a loaf, but a small rectangle of freshly baked bread, enhanced with a tablespoon of rosemary. Baked, then cooled, then torn into small pieces, enveloped in an eggy mixture of cinnamon, butter, eggs, vanilla, and milk, added thin slices of fresh apple, into the oven, and voila! A perfect Fall celebration. You can use torn pieces of any good bread, of course, if you don't have time for the bread making. I halved this recipe I found on Allrecipes, which filled three good sized ramekins. Two days later, I made it again, cutting the bread into cubes, and hiding more of the apple slices under the bread (see top picture) - definite improvement! Using medium ramekins, this made five servings, perfect for the kids.
Preheat oven to 350F.
2 cups torn bread (mostly around 1 inch squarish)
1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a few scrapings of nutmeg, or a pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup very thinly sliced peeled and cored apples
Beat the eggs, butter, and milk in a medium sized bowl. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, then the sugar and stir well. Stir in the apples and bread chunks and toss carefully until all the bread cubes are coated.
Use a large spoon to divide the apple mixture into several ramekins - fill almost to the top. Divide the liquid left in bowl among the ramekins.
Bake for 40 minutes, then allow to cool a little before serving. The custard will deflate a little bit as it cools.
This is delicious! Have a great weekend!