Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from C&H Sugar
5-6 c. stale French bread cubes (about 1/2 of a standard loaf cut into 1" cubes)
3 c. apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. pumpkin or apple pie seasoning
1 Tbsp. butter, chopped
1 recipe Buttermilk Syrup
*If possible, cut the bread into cubes and leave it out for several hours or overnight. If not, place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bread cubes are dried out but not toasted.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray a 9x13" baking dish with shortening or non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes and the apple pieces. Transfer to the baking dish. In the same large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the butter. When combined, continue to whisk while pouring over the bread/apple mixture (just to make sure the spices are evently distributed). Gently combine the bread and egg mixture, making sure each piece of bread is soaking in part of the egg and milk mixture. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes (longer, if you can; you could even do this the night before, cover it tightly, and then bake it in the morning).
When the egg/milk mixture has mostly soaked into the bread, dab the butter over the bread and place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the center is set but not dry or burned.
Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve with warm Buttermilk Syrup (and vanilla ice cream if you really want to walk on the wild side.)