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Baked Apples with Cranberry Molasses Bread Pudding

Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker
Total time 2 hrs, 15 mins
time 0 mins
time 0 mins
Yield Serves 12
Here are three desserts in one: baked apples, gingerbread-like pudding, and ice cream and caramel sauce on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 qts. cubed (1/2-in.) brioche or seedless challah (about 12 oz.)
  • 12 Pink Lady or Golden Delicious apples (6 lbs. total), or some of each
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/4 cups cranberries, cut in half
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Warm Caramel Sauce

Nutrition Information

  • calories 500
  • caloriesfromfat 38 %
  • protein 6.3 g
  • fat 21 g
  • satfat 6.7 g
  • carbohydrate 79 g
  • fiber 7.8 g
  • sodium 213 mg
  • cholesterol 72 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 200° with rack in lowest position. Bake bread in a large rimmed pan until crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, peel the top quarter of each apple and, using a melon baller, scoop out stem, core, and enough of inside so that walls of apple are about 1/2 in. thick (don't break through bottoms). If needed, trim bottoms slightly so apples sit upright.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, molasses, butter, eggs, half-and-half, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg to blend. Increase oven to 325°. As it heats, bake pecans in a shallow pan until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

  4. Add bread and cranberries to molasses mixture; toss to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until two-thirds of liquid is absorbed, 12 minutes. Stir in pecans.

  5. Generously stuff apples with bread mixture, mounding it. Set in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish plus a smaller shallow dish.

  6. Bake until each apple is very tender when pierced, about 1 hour; check after 40 minutes and tent loosely with foil if they're getting dark. Serve warm in shallow bowls with ice cream and caramel sauce.

  7. Make ahead: Prepare through step 5 and chill airtight up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature (2 1/2 hours) before baking.

  8. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.