Combine raisins, dried apple, and apple brandy in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 1 minute; cool. Combine milk, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon rind, melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in bread cubes and raisin mixture. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Pour bread mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm.
I made this especially for a friend who loves raisin bread pudding. He really liked this, and so did we. It's easy to make (once you have Calvados on hand), and has just the right consistency. Also, just the right level of sweetness for us -- not too sweet. The apples are very nice in it. We used cinnamon raisin bread, which probably increased the raisin percentage a little -- I think I'd make it that same way again.
I've made this recipe a couple of times, and I found it outstanding each time. I have always used apple cider and regular bread. I have also doubled and slightly adjusted based on what I had on hand (for example, I was short on eggs once, added more cinnamon since I used plain bread, etc.). It is simple enough for a family dinner, but tasty enough to serve on special occasions. Highly recommended!
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