Baked Apples with Cranberry Molasses Bread Pudding

Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker

Here are three desserts in one: baked apples, gingerbread-like pudding, and ice cream and caramel sauce on the side.

Yield: Serves 12
Total:
Recipe from Sunset

More From Sunset

Recipe Time

Total: 2 Hours, 15 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 500
  • Calories from fat: 38%
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated fat: 6.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 79g
  • Fiber: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 213mg
  • Cholesterol: 72mg

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

Preparation

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 5. Generously stuff apples with bread mixture, mounding it. Set in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish plus a smaller shallow dish.
  6. 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.
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