Vintage Monday - Caramelized Apple Upside Down Bread Pudding

How is 2013 treating you? Do you feel like like you´re still stuck in october last year or like it´s already march? For some reason I feel the holidays were a long time ago. For once I never wrote the number 12 when writing the year. Maybe I just wanted it to end. I am happy this one started; for different reasons I feel this is a turning point in my life, or it will be when I look back I think.

Let´s get on with our week. Here, in the southern part of the world, we´re having a great summer. After that dreadfully hot, hot, hot Christmas Eve, the new year brought amazing weather, medium temp, crisp breezy days. Just perfect for a week and now we´re back to the usual. Since most are enjoying their summer vacations, the city is more quiet, less hectic and can be toured without so much traffic.

According to my pinterest recipes-to-try board, I have a lot I want to cook and bake this year. The first week of the year the theme for Sunday Supper was bucket list recipes. I realized I might want to have that theme once a week to barely cut down a bit the ever-growing list. 
For now here are some new recipes I want to make asap, all involving homemade stuff that I usually buy at the store, or that I can´t find in these latitudes:

Amaretto, from Bell´alimento
Seafoam Candy, from Girlichef
Curry Powder, from Green and Seeds
Kahlua, from That Skinny Chick can Bake
Worcestershire Sauce, from Cocoa and Lavender

This season fruits are in abundace, and I mean a lot of them at the same time. And not enough time to gulf them down!
Right now my fridge is full of peaches for a chutney that I already made and will be posting next week, and white peaches which will be made in syrup with spices; fresh figs which are going to crown a brown butter pound cake (coming very soon to this blog); fresh blackberries and raspberries that will probably be turned into this risotto and this tart. And cherries which will be made into this delectable focaccia, again. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.

A while back, Jen from Juanita´s Cocina asked the sunday supper group what out favorite cookbook was. Singular. As in one cookbook. To this day I´m not able to give an answer. I even have a hard time choosing only three favorites. Maybe five is a logical number in my cookbook universe, which gets bigger but the nano-second.
These are my lists: the first one is the reasonable one, the 5 books I think I can survive with if I´m not able to buy another cookbook for the rest of my life (yeah, like that´s gonna happen...).
The second one is the sentimental one, for whatever reason. And so, in the end, I got to choose ten...jaja

Flour, by Joanne Chang
The Bread Bible, by Beth Hensperger
Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, by Martha Stewart
Country Weekend Entertaining, by Anna Pump
Barefoot Contessa, by Ina Garten

Joy of Cooking, by Marion Rombauer
Book of Great Desserts, by Maida Heatter
Food and Wine, annual cookbook 2005
In the Sweet Kitchen, by Regan Daly
Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton

So, which are your five favorite cookbooks? Or one or two?

Ready to go into the oven

Today´s recipe was the second dessert I made for the Christmas eve from hell, because of the temperatures, don´t go around thinking I had a bad holiday. I used what was left of my newfound favorite sweet dough, the finnish pulla, so I can pretty much say I used that bread to it´s last crumb, remember that I already made some fabulous stuffed french toast with it?

I made this once, years ago, with brioche. Both versions are amazing, just use an egg and butter bread. You can also use more apples and less bread, just decrease the amount of liquid.
This is truly one of the best ways to use leftover sweet bread. I like it with cold cream and some fresh fruit on the side.

adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1988

¼ cup (55g) butter
½ cup (100g) sugar
4 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 chunks each (I use granny smith)
1 ½ pounds (680g) finnish pulla, brioche or challah
½ cup chopped, toasted sliced or chopped almonds 
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Cold cream and fresh raspberries, for serving

Preheat oven to 350º. 
In an ovenproof large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples and cook 2 or 3 minutes until they begin to release liquid. Sprinkle sugar on top of the apples and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Let the apples cook, untouched, for 8 to 10 minutes, until they caramelize and most of the liquid is absorbed. If they start to burn stir them a few times.
While the apples cook, trim the pulla and cut into big chunks or slices. When the apples are caramelized, turn off the heat and arrange half the bread on top of them, fitting tightly. Scatter almonds on top and cover with the rest of the pulla.
In a medium bowl, mix milk, cream, eggs, egg yolk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Do not beat. Add this mixture slowly over bread, gently pressing down to absorb the liquid. Let it stay at room temperature for about 15 minutes, pressing a few times so that the bread absorbs as much of the milk mixture as possible before going into the oven.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the crust is golden. Check the inside by lifting the bread with a fork.
Loosen the edges with a knife and let rest for a few minutes. Carefully invert the pudding onto the serving plate or dish.
Serve at room temperature with cold cream and fresh berries if desired.
Serves 8. 

First layer of bread and almonds

Second layer of bread, ready to soak up the cream mixture


  1. Buenos Aires in summer it´s awesome! I love it, even when I can't go on vacations. Streets are empty, people tend to be more relax, and smiley. Love it! I wanted to make a bread pudding this days as well! Lot of leftover bread!

  2. Looks so good!
    Following you on GFC, Pinterest and Twitter!

  3. Paula, this looks absolutely how you took photos while the apples were cooking...yum!!! Have a great week!!!

  4. Simple ingredients, amazing pudding!

  5. I love the color of those caramelized apples!

  6. Igual que tú estoy casi al borde de quedar derretida, el calor es terrible, y eso hace que me aleje del horno.
    Ya aparecen las frutas de verano, por aquí sale el mango, la uva y los higos, aunque últimamente he visto también zarzamoras y estoy a la espera de las frambuesas.

    1. Yo y mi heladera estamos desbordadas de tanta fruta fresca, y por primera vez estoy haciendo conservas!

  7. You certainly know what gets me up and running in the morning :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Paula - I love all these amazing apple recipes you are passing on! This one, in particular, looks great - and so comforting for a cold winter's eve. Thanks for the shout-out on the Worcestershire sauce - I hope you get to try it soon. I am intrigued by the amaretto recipe, too!

    Ahh... The 5 favorite cookbooks... As this list changes on a daily basis, I will give o today's version: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook (more for the stories than the recipes), Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni and, finally and without hesitation, my mother's book of recipes.

    But now I need to check out your favorites to see what I am missing. I am glad this is a happy start to your 2013. May it continue and get better with each day.


    1. Ah, I totally forgot about Plenty, the horror... I can´t for my life, narrow the list. I´d rather give up my shoes!

  9. Beautiful bread pudding with the layer of caramelized apples. I just recently made my first bread pudding and, to be honest, I never liked it until then. Now I'm searching out more great bread puddings to try.

    It has to be strange to have Christmas during summer. I could not imagine what it would be like with the blazing heat. Not that it is always freezing cold here either. Crazy Georgia weather. I've seen Christmas with freezing temps and in the 70's.

    1. The funny, or rather ridiculous thing, is that until a few years ago many of us made stuffed turkey and had `snowed´ xmas trees...!

  10. Those caramelised apples look so good that Ithink I could have them alone without pudding :)

  11. ohmahgaw this looks incredible! I only recently tried bread pudding like a year ago and I love it so much. I'm freaking drooling over this combination of bread pudding with that gorgeous layer of caramelized apple. I'm making this asap!

  12. Oh my goodness! What an irresistible dessert! The caramelized apples add a layer of delight to the classic bread pudding!

  13. This post made me really excited for farm season. We don't have fresh produce available yet....only a few more months. That bread pudding looks to die for!! And those apples.....I need those apples!

  14. Lovely! This looks's been way too long since I've made bread pudding!

  15. paula, this is delicious looking. i love apple puddings like this. i shall have to try this one soon.

  16. Oh my - this looks so delicious and comforting! Yummmm.

  17. This looks lovely - just the right amount of decadence.

  18. This Bread Pudding looks fantastic!! It sounds like a perfect dessert for the cold winter we’re having here in NJ! So yummy looking!

  19. Absolutely wonderful, Paul! I can't stop staring at it. I love apples made like this. As for the bread pudding? It is surely growing on me, especially with a beautiful recipe like this one.

  20. Paula, what an absolutely delicious looking Caramelized Apple Bread Pudding - I do not think that I ever made a Bread Pudding but I have tasted some and I loved it - terrific caramelization on the apples. And I love the addition of some cream and fresh raspberries! P.S.: I have made that Finnish Pulla several times for guests since baking it fi rthe TwD group, and I agree with you, it is a terrific recipe and now I know what to do with the leftovers the next day! Thanks for the wonderful post that is just brimming with a lot of very useful information!
    Have a great Wednesday!

  21. Oh, I love, love this wonderful dessert! I'm a huge fan of bread pudding and adding apples makes it even better!

  22. That looks heavenly! So comforting. I am dying for peaches, blackberries and cherries but it won't be long until they are in season again here. My favorite cookbook is the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. I am also hoping this year is a turning point for me. Hope the year is everything you want it to be.

    1. I´m starting to can and freeze berries and fruits to have in the winter. Here´s to a great year Laura!

  23. It's deep freeze winter where I live and I'm making this gorgeous bread pudding this weekend!

  24. My god, this is brilliant and looks incredible! Love your photos! So sorry you guys are having to endure such horrid weather - come to California! I'm a huge Nancy Silverton fan, too. If forced to choose, I'd say my five fave cookbooks are: Deborah Madison's Local Flavors, Annie Somerville's Everyday Greens, David L's Perfect Scoop, Deb P's Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and everything by Alice Medrich. :)

  25. Having a three hundred tree apple orchard, I'm always looking for new recipes...this is wonderful.


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Maira Gall