By Jim Bailey, The Yankee Chef
This bread pudding is anything but typical. It is beautifully sweetened, less dense and ‘gummy’ than many other equivalent puddings and the sweet, caramelized crust that forms make you want to just pick it off first then eat the middle later.
4 large plain or cinnamon muffins*
4 teaspoons butter or margarine
3 large Granny Smith apples
1 cup of apple juice or water
1/4 cup maple syrup
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
Slice muffins horizontally about 1-inch thick. Butter all cut sides and grill over medium heat until well browned. Place on a plate and let cool in refrigerator for an hour, preferably overnight to dry out.
Meanwhile, add 2 apples that have been peeled, cored, and diced into a saucepan along with apple juice and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir, reduce to low and simmer 6-8 minutes, or until it has thickened, and apples are done, but still firm. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spray a 9-10-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray liberally and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut muffins into cubes and add to a bowl along with remainder apple that has been peeled, cored, and diced.
In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, juice and grated rind and ginger. Pour over muffin cubes and gently toss to evenly coat. Transfer to prepared cake pan, evening out the top. Spoon cooked apple mixture over the top evenly and bake 40-45 minutes, or until it is firm when touched in the center with a spoon or fork.
Remove pie to cool slightly before running a dull knife around the edge to loosen. Cut into wedges and serve.
* Use whatever muffin you desire, I just happened to adore cinnamon but regardless of what you choose, make sure you have 5 cups total after cutting.