Fun dessert: Apple bread pudding

Apple Bread Pudding with "Apple" Scotch Sauce
Serves 8

Suggested equipment:

  • 10 or 12" skillet Baking tray
  • Medium non-reactive saucepan
  • Pastry brush large bowl
  • 2 qt 9x12" oven-to-table baking dish
  • Baking pan larger than baking dish
  • Strainer
  • 2 pounds (about 5 medium) Jazz apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 loaf Semifreddi's Cinnamon Twist Bread
  • 5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  1. Caramelize the apples: In a 10 or 12" skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Arrange half the apples in the skillet (if using one skillet, wash and dry between use) with half the vanilla bean plus its scrapings. Pour ¼ c sugar on top of the apples and sauté over medium heat until apples and sugar are caramelized, turning to sauté all sides. Repeat with the remaining butter, vanilla bean, apples and sugar. Set aside and let cool.

  2. Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°.

  3. Cut the Cinnamon Twist bread into 12 each about 1/2 inch thick.

  4. Make the custard: In a medium saucepan, scald the cream with the vanilla bean and its scrapings and the nutmeg. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Slowly pour the scalded liquid over the eggs, whisking all the while. Strain into a clean bowl.

  5. Make the pudding: Butter the baking dish with the tablespoon of butter. Arrange 6 slices of bread on the bottom of the baking dish, cutting slices to fit tightly, and pour a little of the custard over the bread, pressing down on the slices to make sure that the bread has absorbed the custard and is well soaked. Top with a layer of half the apples. Repeat with layers of bread, custard, apples, bread and the remaining custard, pressing down on each layer of bread after the custard has been poured over. There will be 2 layers of bread, custard poured over each layer, and 2 layers of apples.

  6. Place baking dish in a larger pan and fill the pan with very hot water halfway up the sides of the porcelain dish. Bake until the pudding is golden brown, and the sauce begins to bubble and a small knife gently inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let rest about 15 minutes.

  7. To serve, the pudding can be inverted onto a large plate or served directly from the baking dish. If inverting, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pudding and then invert onto a platter slightly larger than the pudding. Serve warm with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and the Apple-Scotch Sauce.

    To make cinnamon sugar: In a small bowl, combine ½ c granulated sugar with 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Mix well. Cinnamon sugar will keep in a covered container indefinitely.
NOTE: To prepare ahead through step 4, pudding can be made early in the day and warmed at serving time.

Apple-Scotch Sauce
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. In a non-reactive pan on medium heat reduce the apple juice to almost a glaze like consistency.

  2. Whisk in the cream and butter and allow to cool some and then serve warm drizzled over the bread pudding.
About Joey Altman:

Cooking and show business both came early to Joey Altman. He grew up in a resort town in New York's Catskill Mountains where his mother worked at Grossinger's Hotel, one of the top venues on the Borscht Belt entertainment circuit.

Mel Brooks, Bill Cosby, Lionel Hampton, and other entertainers were early inspirations, and Altman's culinary skills were developed at a young age by cooking at family parties and celebrations. By the time he was in high school, Altman was an aspiring magician ("Altman the Magnificent"), was playing guitar in a local rock band, and was working as a short-order cook in a local diner.

After graduating from the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Sullivan County Community College, Altman left for France to train under some of France's finest chefs, including Lyon's Bernard Constantin and Jean Brouilly, following the rigorous apprenticeship program of French kitchens.

He left France with a thorough grounding in the principles and techniques of classical French cuisine and an appreciation of the importance of balance and harmony in cooking.

Altman returned to America to work at Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Bob Kinkead, one of the creative forces behind the 80's new American cuisine.

At the Harvest, he gained an appreciation of the exciting developments in American cooking that emphasized the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients in creative and exciting combinations.

Following his stint at Harvest, Altman traveled to New Orleans where he learned the principles of Creole and Cajun cooking under Emeril Lagasse at Commander's Palace. He also continued his travels and culinary adventures in the American South and Southwest, the Caribbean, and Mexico and they are all sources of his lively and eclectic style of cooking.

Upon arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area, Altman worked at Stars and other trend-setting San Francisco restaurants. He also worked for legendary rock concert impresario Bill Graham cooking backstage for people like Sting, Eric Clapton and the Grateful Dead.

Altman appears at many benefits and food-related events in the Bay Area and nationwide. He also plays guitar in the Backburner's Blues Band, a blues-rock group composed of other prominent Bay Area chefs and food professionals. The group plays at local benefits and can be found jamming occasionally at San Francisco rock clubs. Altman lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.

For more information about Joey Altman, visit

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