Yeah... that's right! My Slow Cooked Winter Bread Pudding with Buttery Apple Brandy Sauce won in the misc. category (there were other first place winners in both the Soup & Chili categories as well) in yesterday's Crock Pot cook off!!!!!!!! I was up against some other super delicious dishes too - a Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a yummy Jambalaya, Italian Beef sammies and SO much more - I was definitely thrilled to be a winner :-)
Now that you all KNOW this is a winning Bread Pudding recipe, you're going to have to try it out for yourself, so I'll post it one last time:
Slow Cooked Winter Bread Pudding
• 1 loaf (about 1 pound) cinnamon-raisin Challah bread, preferably stale, cut into 1/2” cubes (about 6 cups)
• 1 quart (4 cups) half-and-half
• 4 large eggs
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons apple brandy
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
• Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 12 ounces dried apples & pears chopped
• 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed together
• 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
• Whipped cream (spiked with a bit of Grand Marnier)
• Buttery apple brandy sauce (recipe below)
Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, whiskey, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a large bowl to create custard mixture.
Toss bread cubes and chopped dried fruit together and place into the slow cooker. Pour custard over top and press down lightly until all bread is covered with custard. (I covered mine with the custard & let it sit over night in the fridge to allow maximum absorption.)
Cover and cook on LOW until pudding puffs and is just set, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove insert from the slow cooker and cool on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Spoon pudding into large cups or bowls and sprinkle each serving with cinnamon sugar, and toasted nuts. Top with whipped cream or buttery apple brandy sauce, if desired.
Buttery Apple Brandy Sauce:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten lightly
1/3 to 1/2 cup apple brandy, to taste (I used less than this – probably closer to 1/4 cup)
In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan combine all ingredients except the brandy and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat immediately; do not allow the sauce to boil. Add the brandy, stir to combine, and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with Bread Pudding. (The sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container. Warm gently before serving.)
Yield: 2 1/4 cups
Enjoy & happy Crock Pot-ing!