I made this Spiced Caramel Apple Bread Pudding out of the December issue of Southern Living for Thanksgiving and it was SOOOOOOOO good and super easy. It would be a great Christmas dinner dessert. Not too heavy, fruity and nutty! I recommend doubling the recipe if you have a crowd to serve. I'm definatley making it again for sure! I ate 3 helpings last time...oh no!
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 (16-oz.) Italian bread loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
Vegetable cooking spray
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Toasted Pecan-Caramel Sauce
1. Sauté apple and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon in a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Stir together bread and apple in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together eggs, milk, apple cider, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon; pour over bread mixture in baking dish. Cover and chill 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake bread mixture 45 to 50 minutes or until top is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm with Toasted Pecan-Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Sprinkle sugar in an even layer in a small saucepan. Stir together syrup and 1/3 cup water, and pour over sugar in saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat 12 to 14 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is golden.
3. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in evaporated milk. (Mixture will bubble.) Stir in butter and toasted pecans.
You can make this sauce ahead of time and reheat when you are ready to serve or leave it on warm on the stove until you are ready to use it.