How to make it

  • Butter a 7x7 baking dish, dust the inside with sugar and tap out the excess. Line a larger roasting pan with a double thickness of paper towels.
  • Peel and slice the apples. Put a large skillet, (preferably nonstick) over medium high heat, add the butter,and, when it melts, sprinkle the sugar on top. Cook the butter and sugar until it caramelizes. Add the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, until the apples are tender but not soft. Transfer the apples and liquid to a plate and reserve.
  • Throw half of the bread pieces into the baking dish and top with the cherry jam. Spoon the apples and their liquid over the jam and then cover them up with the remaining bread.
  • Combine the milk, half and half and cream cheese and blend with an immersion blender. Put it on the stove and bring to a simmer.
  • Put a teakettle on to boil. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg, yolks and sugar together. Still whisking, slowly drizzle in the hot milk mixture, continue to whisk and slowly pour in the remaining milk. Add the vanilla and whisk to blend. Pour the custard over the bread and press the bread gently with the back of a spoon to help it absorb the liquid. Leave the pan on the counter, pressing the mixture with a spoon every now and then, for 30 minutes. Just before putting it in the oven, sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Centre a rack in the oven and preheat to 325F.
  • Put the baking pan in the roasting pan, slide it into the oven and then pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake the pudding for about 55min or until a thing knife inserted deep into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • I also glazed the top with a mixture of cherry jam, heated with some water so that it liquefied.

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