Apple desserts are always a hit in autumn and winter. The crimson fruit offers both sweetness and tang that shines in turnovers, crisps and pies. But my favorite apple dessert is this easy apple bread pudding flavored with a hint of Champagne.
This bread pudding with apples is a low-stress and fairly inexpensive dish. Yet it’s a crowd-pleaser made from just seven ingredients, most of which are kitchen staples.
- The bread: The main ingredient in this winter bread pudding recipe is, obviously, bread. The recipe calls for baguette bread cubes, but I’ve tried making this apple and goat cheese bread pudding with everything from whole wheat to challah bread to a baguette. Every bread makes a slightly different pudding both in texture and flavor. Just use what you like and maybe try a different type of bread next time until you find your perfect bread pudding.
- The apples: The ingredients that give the pudding its primary flavors are the apples and the crumbles of soft goat cheese. The recipe uses Gala apples, which offer medium sweetness and just a hint of tart apple flavor. If you like a more tart flavor, you can try using Granny Smith apples.
- The goat cheese: The goat cheese gives this bread pudding a unique tang not to mention a great, creamy texture. If you’re nervous about putting cheese in a dessert, don’t worry. It only calls for four ounces of fresh goat cheese, just enough to give the recipe unique flavor without overwhelming the apple.
- The milk: The recipe calls for using non-dairy milk, specifically unsweetened soy milk. But you can use your preferred unsweetened, plant-based milk alternative. You can also substitute with whole milk but do not use heavy cream.
- The Champagne: The other main flavoring agent of this sweet apple bread pudding is sparkling wine. It is the ingredient that makes this bread pudding stand out from all other apple dessert recipes.
Lisa Peju of Peju Winery and Pastry Chef Chrysta Wilson, author of my favorite cake book, Kiss My Bundt: recipes from the award-winning bakery, created this version of an apple bread pudding for a community-building cooking class we hosted in our test kitchen. We gave the ladies 6 ingredients, an oven and a bottle of Cava. And this bread pudding recipe is what they created.
You can add toppings if you like, such as whipped cream, vanilla or even caramel ice cream. But I prefer it naked.
When to serve this fruit bread pudding
This is a great brunch dessert. It’s an easy recipe to feed a group and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. However, you should also consider making this bread pudding for your special someone. As the original fruit of temptation, the apple is one of the world’s most interesting aphrodisiacs. Consider serving it with a glass of Champagne on the side and romance on your mind.
Do you have to use Champagne?
You don’t have to use an expensive bottle of Champagne to make this bread pudding. In fact, Chrysta and Lisa created the recipe with an inexpensive bottle of Spanish Cava.
However, keep in mind that you’ll only use 1/2 cup of the sparkling wine in the recipe, so you’ll want to select a bottle of Brut-style bubbly that you’ll want to drink. Because, as the chef suggests, the most fun way to enjoy this dish is to imbibe in the rest of the wine while you wait for your bread pudding to bake.
Can you make this dessert recipe with other fruits?
Absolutely! This bread pudding recipe is delicious with pears as a substitute for the apple. And you can try throwing in a handful of dried cranberries along with the pear for a holiday season flavor. But you can also make spring and summer variations with berries like strawberries or stone fruits like peaches.
Why does the bread pudding have to rest before baking?
The most important step in making bread pudding is letting it rest once you have all the ingredients in your prepared baking dish so that the custard can soak into the bread. Do not rush this step. Once you pour the egg mixture over the bread, it needs time to develop that soft, pudding-like texture, just like when you’re making french toast.
How should you store this apple bread pudding?
After it cools, this ultra-moist bread pudding should be stored in the refrigerator. You can warm servings in the oven or microwave before serving the refrigerated leftovers. (The leftovers make a great breakfast.)
How long does bread pudding last?
Stored in the refrigerator, the pudding will last 2-3 days – if you can resist eating it all in one sitting.
Easy Bread Pudding with Apples, Champagne & Chevre
- 2 cup chopped french bread or your favorite type of bread
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk or your favorite nut milk
- 4 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 bottle Brut-style Champagne or sparkling wine*
- 1 medium Gala apple cubed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat a small baking dish with canola oil.
- Chop baguette into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Add in soy milk, chevre, sugar and 1/2 c Cava to make a custard.
- Put bread and apples in oiled baking dish and cover with the custard. Let stand for 10 min while you drink rest of the sparkling wine.
- Bake for 25-30 min or until custard is set.
- Serve with additional sparkling wine.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and make a great breakfast treat!
A note on the provided nutrition informationThe nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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